Marine Corps Artillery Rockets: Back Through The Future CSC 1987 SUBJECT AREA Artillery ABSTRACT Author: Mazzara, Andrew F. Major USMC TiTle: Marine Artillery Rockets: Back Through The Future Date: 6 May 1987 Rockets are, by some accounts, older than cannon artillery. Down through the ages, military professionals have had an "on- again, off-again" love affair with artillery rockets. With the joint development by NATO forces of the Mutiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) and the introduction of the BM-27 rocket launcher by the Soviet Union, the King of Battle is at the dawn of a new era. Ranges of conventional ordnance far exceeding anything known before, accuracy for point destruction with terminally guided warheads, and area saturation capability for a single weapon equaling that of cannon battalions are not some futuristic vision of combat technology. The battlefield is now more lethal and violent than at anytime in the history of warfare. This paper walks the reader through the origin and development of the artillery rocket to the state-of-the-art technology. The first chapter, by way of introduction, sets the stage and scope for the rest of the treatise. Basic concepts, terminology, and framework are established. The technique and limitations of research are explained. The next three chapters deal with the historical evolution of artillery rockets from the invention of gunpowder to the present day. Chapter 2 spans the early period since the first "Chinese fire arrows" through the turn of the twentieth century. Although not much occurred circa World War I, Chapter 3 brings the reader through the 1900's by focusing primarily on the rapid proliferation of multiple rocket launchers during the Second World War excepting only the American involvement. Chapter 4 describes the modern experiences of the United States with artillery rockets, but narrowing the scope to the U.S. Army projects and then closing on the United States Marine Corps'experience. The last three chapters introduce the reader to the newest American battlefield rocket system, the MLRS. Chapter 5 is a compendium of technical data, tactics, and general background to include a survey of Marine field commanders. Chapter 6 is a technological assessment based on defense weapon systems acquisition criteria of the relative merit of the MLRS from a Marine Corps perspective. There is no doubt as to the tremendous benefit that would accrue to the Corps if the MLRS were to be fielded. However, in light of fiscal and political realities, a new acquisition strategy is proposed that will allow Marine artillery to close or at least maintain the firepower gap with its Warsaw Pact adversaries and their surrogates. MARINE CORPS ARTILLERY ROCKETS: BACK THROUGH THE FUTURE by Major Andrew F. Mazzara United States Marine Corps Command and Staff College Education Center Marine Corps Development and Education Command Quantico, Virginia 22134 6 May 1987 TABLE OF CONTENTS Page List of Plates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii List of Figures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iv Chapter 1 - INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Azimuth of Fire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Chapter 2 - "THE SOUL OF ARTILLERY" . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 The Origins of Rockets . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 The Congreve Era . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 "The Rockets' Red Glared". . . . . . . . . . . . 18 Hale's Influence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Chapter 3 - INTO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY . . . . . . . . . . 25 Unplanned Obsolesence . . . . . . . . . 25 Nebelwerfers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 The Katyusha . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 The Dunkirk Factor . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Chapter 4 - AMERICA'S MODERN WAR ROCKETS . . . . . . . . . 48 The Re-birth of the U.S. War Rocket . . . . . 48 U.S. Army Ground Rockets . . . . . . . . . . 50 The Marine Buck Rogers' Men. . . . . . . . . . .55 Chapter 5 - THE STATE OF THE ART . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Today's Battlefield . . . . . . . . . . 77 The Threat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Developing a Combat Multiplier . . . . . . . . 81 System Characteristics . . . . . . . . . 85 The MLRS and the Marine Corps . . . . . . . . 89 Input from the Field . . . . . . . . . . . . .94 Chapter 6 - A MARINE MLRS: IS IT NEEDED ? . . . . . . . . .101 Redefining the Requirement . . . . . . . . . .102 Concept of Employment. . . . . . . . . . . . 104 System Value Assessment . . . . . . . . . . 105 Chapter 7 - THE FUTURE FOR THE MARINE MLRS. . . . . . . . . 116 Appendices: A - Chronology of Events B - First Rocket Table of Organization C - Marine Field Commanders' Survey D - BM-27 Specifications/Capabilities E - Logistic Vehicle System Characteristics F - MLRS Configurations G - Proposed MLRS Battery Table of Organization H - Additional Photographs Endnotes Bibliography LIST OF PLATES Page 3.1 The German "Nebelwerfer" . . . . . 32 3.2 BM-13, the Katyushau. . . . . . . . . 38 4.1 USMC truck-mounted MRL's . . . . . 58 4.2 Tank-mounted MRL at Guadalcanal. . . 60 4.3 MRL barrage at Iwo Jima . . . . . 64 4.4 USMC rocket launchers, Korea . . . 69 4.5 Marine heliborne MRL's . . . . . . 72 4.6 North Vietnamese rockets, 1968 . . . 75 LIST OF FIGURES Page 3-1 German-Russian Multiple Rocket Launchers (WWII). . 42 4-1 U.S. Army Multiple Rocket Launchers (WWII) . . . .54 5-1 Illustration, Multiple Launch Rocket System. . . .84 5-2 Launcher (SPLL) Characteristics . . . . . . . . .86 5-3 System Comparability Analysis. . . . . . . . . .87 5-4 USMC Organizational Comparison . . . . . . . . . . 88 Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION It was only last Tuesday when Sergeant McGurk had guided his multiple launch rocket system, MLRS, ashore at Esbjerg, Denmark. It seemed like a lifetime ago. He remembered being annoyed then that his battery, Battery O, Fifth Battalion, 10th Marines, did not land until well into the on-call waves of the amphibious operation. The ride to the beach in the LCAC ( Landing Craft Air Cushion) had been faster than he expected, but it seemed like an eternity before one was available to take him, his crew, and his launcher from their ship, the U.S.S. Trenton (LPD-10), to the landing site. Fortunately the beach gradient was good and they only had a small stretch of surf about two feet deep to traverse to finally make their grand entrance on Blue Beach. Since his first memorable day in real combat, Sergeant McGurk had grown tremendously in wisdom and experience on the battlefield. He had served with the same MLRS battery since leaving Boot Camp and, although he did not get as many opportunities to fire his weapon as he would have liked, he did get some valuable training at Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg. He was confident from the start that he could "do the job" when it counted. It counted now. It was the Fall of 1994. The Soviet Union in conjunction with its client states of the Warsaw Pact had finally done what had been anticipated for the past four decades. They had moved quickly and forcefully through the Fulda Gap in Germany in a "blitzkrieg"-type attack on Western Europe. In the first few weeks of the war, the Soviets realized great success but now seemed to be bogged down and confronted an Allied defense that was growing stronger by the day. Sergeant McGurk did not know, nor did he really care, what all the political reasons were for his being in Denmark. All he knew was that this was the reason he had walked into his recruiter's office that cold, winter's day three year ago. Now, he and the rest of the 2nd Marine Division were supposedly landing as part of the II Marine Amphibious Force (II MAF) on the Jutland Peninsula to "turn the flank" of the Soviet 10th Combined Arms Army. After coming ashore, he had moved quickly inland to his first pre-designated hide area in a small patch of trees just off what had once been a small two-lane highway. His crew seemed anxious to mix it up with the enemy. He felt the same excitement, but had responsibilities now that required him to put his emotions on hold. His first task was to establish digital communications with his platoon commander and his Battery command post. Having accomplished this task fairly quickly, he was able to submit his LOST (location status) report. On occupying his hide area, Sergeant McGurk had done his own ground reconnaissance to determine his parking azimuth, the terrain mask, and alternate hide areas and firing points within the surrounding area. He entered the appropriate data into his fire control unit. His launcher was ready to go and he soon received word that he was to remain in a "HOT" status until further notice. It wasn't long before he received the locations of his reload and firing points. This was good news. Obviously, the LVS (Logistic Vehicle System) had made it ashore with his resupply of launch pod/containers. As soon as he had fired six or more of his "rocks", as his Marines called them, he would move to the reload point to obtain his replacement ordnance. While he and his crew anxiously awaited their first combat fire mission, his mind drifted back to his first days in Battery "O" at Camp Lejeune. The Battalion Sergeant Major had nicknamed him "Baseplate" during a NCO leadership training session in the battery area. At first he didn't understand the meaning of his new title and it was almost a month later when his CO answered his query in the field with the information that "Baseplate McGurk" had been some kind of fictional Marine Corps character back in the 40's and 50's who was used to teach leadership principles.* He was abruptly jerked back to reality when his gunner * "Baseplate McGurk" was a creation of LtGen W. K. Jones, USMC, the Marine Corps' youngest battalion commander in WWII. General Jones wrote numerous leadership articles for the Marine Corps Gazette using McGurk as a teaching vehicle to simplify understanding. yelled, a little too loudly, in his ear, "Fire Mission !" After acknowledging the mission, he directed his driver who was still breathless from running in from his local security post to move to their assigned firing point. They had received a "when ready" mission and things began happening at a very rapid pace. McGurk and his Marines at gone through this sequence which to him seemed like a million times. Thus by now they each performed their functions almost mindlessly, yet each aware and watching what the others were doing. He had 90 seconds to respond that his MLRS was capable of firing this particular mission. As soon as his computed data showed on the screen on his fire control panel, the gunner transmitted his "WILCO" message indicating that his launcher would comply. As the launcher moved into its pre-designated parking heading at the firing point, the gunner now under McGurk's critical, watching eye, pressed the INIT key on the panel and when the display showed "ARM ROCKETS" he routinely flipped the ARM switch. The next display, "FIRE ROCKETS", sometimes gave McGurk the funny feeling that the launcher was controlling them instead of the other way around. His gunner looked quickly to his Section Chief and, after receiving a slight nod, lifted the FIRE switch holding it up for two or three seconds. The deafening roar and the large, rising cloud of dirt surrounding them said more than the "SAFE ROCKETS END OF MISSION" that appeared on the screen. They had fired their first rockets in anger, so to speak. As the gunner annotated his mission log, McGurk explained that the nature of the targets they fired on and the Battle Damage Assessments would not be known until he could get back to the battery or battalion command posts. Little did Sergeant McGurk or his Marines know that they had in fact become an anecdote in Marine Corps history. Their first rocket fire mission against a fast-moving, Soviet armor column was the first time since the Korean Conflict that Marines had used multiple rocket launchers on the battlefield. It was definitely not to be the last. Azimuth of Fire This paper is intended to document, from a United States Marine Corps perspective, the historical trail of artillery rockets from their birth until the present day. The Marine Corps is presently drifting in and out of serious consideration of the procurement of what some might classify as the most lethal ground weapon system ever developed for the conventional battlefield, the Multiple Launch Rocket System or MLRS. In order to better understand the environment in which the Corps must make their acquisition decision, this history of war rockets will follow a series of successively narrower paths from the origin of rockets to their coming of age during World War II to finally a review of the Marine Corps vacillating interest in this type of weaponry. The reader will be taken on a rapid journey through time copvering more than seven hundred years. The "story" will end at Headquarters Marine Corps. While conducting research for this paper, there were clearly some hurdles to surmount. There has been apparently no single work dedicated specifically to this topic. Most of the information discovered concerning war rockets was fragmented, piecemeal, and sometimes contradictory. As the research moved closer to the present day, it actually became more difficult to uncover reliable historical data. Of particular note is the flippant usage by many historians of the terms "rocket", "missile", and "mortar". For our purposes, a rocket is distinctly different than a missile which might best be described as a projectile with a guidance system that follows a controlled flight path. A rocket, in the true sense, is a self-contained system with a motor that follows Newton's Third Law of Motion. As the forces build up inside the rocket casing they escape rapidly through the rear exhaust port. There is a reactive force acting equally on the forward, closed end of the rocket which propels it through the air on a ballistic trajectory. Rockets, not missiles, follow what is called a "free flight" path. Much like a bullet fired from a rifle, they go where they are aimed subject to their environment (i.e. wind, precipitation, humidity). Mortars may be used to fire rockets or mortar shells which, like artillery shells, usually use separately loaded propellants. For the purposes of this paper, the terms "war rocket", "artillery rocket" and "rocket artillery" will be used interchangeably to specify those rocket systems that were fired from the ground either singly or multiply launched as a supporting arm on the battlefield. This is to avoid confusion with those rocket systems that were also developed at various times to be fired from a sea-based platform or from an aircraft at either air or ground targets. Finally, the historical topic of primary interest throughout the paper is the multiple rocket launcher and how military technology advanced to where it is today with the new MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System). During the course of the research both primary and secondary sources were used. The majority of the primary sources were personal interviews or telephone conversations. Some original documents written and signed by Marine rocket battery commanders during the Korean conflict were uncovered and found useful, as well as a very well-documented letter from a former rocketeer to Headquarters Marine Corps (Historical Division). The Air University Library at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama was an excellent assistance in confirming some data and uncovering new information. The Breckinridge Library at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, Quantico provided the starting point for my research and much of the initial background. There were, however, some gaps in the historical trail of rockets, particularly at the juncture where the Marine Corps decided to employ multiple rockets launchers for the first time in the Pacific during World War II. This also occurred again at the point when the Corps decided to get out of the rocket business after the Korean Conflict. For both events, there was a paucity of information. The National Archives, the Marine Corps Historical Archives, and Headquarters Marine Corps Central Files, as well as the files of specific Headquarters Marine Corps project sponsor offices (Codes POG, LMW, and RDS), were all surveyed without success. The exact time and substance of key policy decisions by the Marine Corps to adopt and then to terminate the employment of multiple rocket launchers seems to have been lost within the bureaucracy. In the final two chapters dealing with the state-of-the-art technology, principally the MLRS, the extensive work that has been done by both the U.S. Army and the United States Marine Corps in the development of a concept of employment as well as tactics and techniques for the system was not re-gurgitated but rather summarized to highlight the current thinking. The last chapter is a consolidation of the opinion and ideas of others into which the author has blended his own as a basis for conclusions and recommendations. Chapter 2 "THE SOUL OF ARTILLERY" The Origins of Rockets As far back as the second or third century, there are some vague references to "rocket attacks" on Greek soldiers fighting in the Orient. However, these "accounts" are more suggestive than factual in their content and, as with many ancient sources, must be critically evaluated. There have been some historians who have taken reports that the soldiers were "repulsed with storms of lightning and thunderbolts hurled on them from above as evidence to the beginnings of rocketry which, more likely, were incendiaries of some type (i.e. pitch, naptha) projected by catapult. Despite their efforts to expand some very weak historical data into a meaningful thesis, there is almost nothing of substance found anywhere on rockets until at least the 13th century.1 Although black powder and firecrackers can be dated much earlier and are generally accepted as Chinese in origin, the year 1232 A.D. is the first validated record of rockets being used in combat. The date and the events surrounding this historical milestone have received consensus agreement from most scholars. Even though there were earlier written accounts of Chinese "fire arrows" by French missionaries in China, no specific dates are listed. Most of the French writings on the subject were based on second-hand reports and hearsay from these missionaries who had been based in the Orient since the 16th century.2 Five years after the death of Ghengis Kahn, the first recorded use of "war rockets" by the Chinese against the Mongols took place at the seige of Kai-fung-fu (Pien-king). This event was described in some detail by a French Jesuit. Speculation based on his translation of the employment of these "fe-se-ho- tsiang" or "arrows of flying fire" indicated the possible employment of a type of incendiary rockets that were attached to arrows.3 The arrows appeared to provide some ballistic direction to the rocket which increased its effectiveness against wooden fortifications or tarred riggings. Some historians express skepticism even here as to whether or not the quality of the reports truly indicated that "war rockets" were actually used. However, it is generally accepted that rockets existed and were probably employed in battle in China during this period. From 1232 on, occasional mention of rockets appeared in historical writings of the Chinese, Arabs, French and others. The Chinese were known to have used them across the Asian continent from Persia (Iran) to Japan in battle usually against the Tartars or Mongols. Arab writers make mention of "Chinese fire arrows" from the mid-13th century on.4 It seems that the Tartars and Mongols both may have adopted the war rocket in its Chinese form after experiencing its effects in combat. Beginning during the nascency of the rocket, we regularly witness a general confusion in the use of terminology. Rockets, bombs, incendiary arrows and other less descriptive terms were used indiscriminately in reference to rockets. Both drawings and translated writings were unclear whether the devices were rocket launched arrows, fire-tipped arrows, or conventional arrows that carried rocket-type incendiaries. Even as recently as the 20th century, rockets are often called missiles and their launchers have been called mortars.5 There are clear indications that rocketry quickly spread from Southern Asia to Europe and Russia by the 14th century through the spread of commerce and the increasing appearance of merchant sailing ships.6 By the 1420's, the French had already begun developing a tradition of war rocketry. They used rockets both in the defense of Orleans in 1429 and later at the seige of Pont-Andemer in 1449. Rockets in combat were again employed by France at Bordeaux and Gand in 1452 and 1453 respectively. Their effectiveness is a matter of some dispute, but they remained at least a curiosity among military professionals that sustained their acceptance, albeit meager. While rockets entered into dormancy in the Orient, their development and use saw a brief surge in Europe. In addition to the French, the Italians, Dutch and Germans experimented with war rockets with varying degrees of success. During the period 1350 - 1700, the rocket had the potential to impact significantly on the future of armed conflict. However, about this time its technological adversary, cannon artillery, appeared in increasing numbers on the battlefield. As smooth bore artillery became more advanced and more accurate with improvements in range, rockets essentially remained unchanged in their technical aspects since the time of their arrival in western Europe from the Orient. In accordance with their developing nature, war rockets began to drift in and out of vogue relegated to a position of only secondary interest on the part of military professionals. The Congreve Era Three years before the United States Marine Corps was established, William Congreve, who was to have a major impact on the growth of artillery rockets, was born in Great Britain. The importance of his appearance in history would only be realized some thirty -two years later when war rockets burst spectacularly back on to the battlefield. Congreve is now in retrospect considered as the "Father of Modern War Rocketry". The background of Congreve's involvement in rocketry is worth studying. At about this time, cannon artillery development had essentially reached the limit of its technological advance with smooth bore guns and mortars. There were no significant engineering contributions to either the range or accuracy capabilities of the heavy guns which were still essentially used in a direct fire mode on the battlefield. This fact combined with the British colonial wars in India during the 1700's produced the circumstances for the resurgence of artillery rockets. During the period of 1780 - 1784, the British Army first experienced rockets on the receiving end in the Mahratta Wars in India. The Indians initially under the Sultan of Mysore, Hyder Ali, and later under his son, Tippo Sultaun (Sahib), had formed a rocket corps consisting of as many as 5000 men. Then, in 1799, at the seige of Seringapatam, they employed six to twelve pound rockets attached to ten foot stabilizing poles against the British. Despite their short range of 1000 yards and their apparent inaccuracy, the rockets quickly gained the attention of the British military. It is also thought that a variation known as "ground rockets" was used.7 This weapon essentially fired wildly moving projectiles along the ground with good effect in demoralizing and confusing enemy soldiers along with causing secondary incendiary damage. Although the danger of physical harm was apparently slight, this ordnance served well to disrupt the opposing force and, as a result of its noise and visual effects, also produced a debilitating psychological result on inexperienced or unsuspecting troops. Reports that eventually reached William Congreve stated that the attackers suffered more from the rocket barrage then they had from the artillery, which today may seem questionable. The British clearly became interested at this point in the possibilities of this "new" weapon. William Congreve, later to be appointed a colonel in the Hanoverian Army, was the only individual the government was able to identify with a serious interest, if not expertise, in rockets. It also helped that his father was also the comptroller of the Royal Laboratory at Woolwich where several unsuccessful experiments in rockets had been conducted some years earlier.8 Congreve's strength rested in his earnest determination to see rockets work in combat. It was through his aggressive spirit and dogged efforts that he was able to succeed where others before him had failed. By 1805, he had developed a six pound rocket with a paper case that had a range of 2000 yards which until then was by far the greatest distance achieved. He saw that the major advantage in rockets was the lack of recoil forces on the carrier which would allow such a weapon to be fired from boats or light carriages. Most of the artillery of the day still used rather large and cumbersome platforms to absorb the reactive forces from firing projectiles which required they be manhandled and made them unsuitable for shipboard use. Congreve himself stated, "... It (the rocket) is ammunition without ordnance, it is the soul of artillery without the body; and had therefore from the first principles of its flight, a decided advantage for the conveniency of use ...". He also saw the rocket as potentially exceeding the gun in terms of range and accuracy. He designed rockets that went beyond the historical incendiary-type, developing shrapnel and case shot warheads. His early work was frustrating because the weapon development never matched his expectations and was also financially costly to him personally. But, through perseverance he increased the range of his early rockets from 500 yards to the then very impressive range of 2000.9 In the midst of this, the most significant and largest war in a century occurred. Between 1793 and 1815, Britain was almost continually at war with revolutionary and Napoleonic France.This now provided an impetus to the Congreve rocket program. By the fall of 1806, Congreve had what he felt was a final design of a steel-cased rocket with a tail shortened from an original 25 feet to 15 feet. The rocket had not only increased its weight to 32 pounds but had also increased it range now to almost 3000 yards. Congreve's rocket was ready for war. Colonel Congreve proposed the use of rockets against the French at Boulogne. But first he had to demonstrate their effectiveness in the countryside outside Woolwich to the Prime Minister, William Pitt, and then he gained approval for his plan. The first attempt to employ Congreve's rockets against the French was delayed. The reasons are not clear, but conjecture indicates that the winds and weather, possibly combined with other technical difficulties postponed the initial bombardment.10 The next attempt was then planned for the summer of 1806, but was once again delayed. Rather than becoming discouraged, Congreve continued developing the war rocket. He added a number of different weights and warheads to his inventory. He was confident that the rocket would find its place as a practical instrument of modern warfare. Finally, on the 8th of October 1806, the first rockets were used by the British in combat. They were launched from aboard British naval barges towed by warships and manned by Royal Marine Artillery.11 Approximately 200 were fired against the city of Boulogne. The effect of the barrage is the subject of some dispute. They appear to have done little direct damage and allegedly were ridiculed by French soldiers. However, they did cause considerable secondary damage through fires and were considered a success by both Congreve and the British government.12 One year later, the British fired a reported 25,000 rockets at the French Fleet in Copenhagen burning the city to the ground. The war rocket was proving itself an effective implement of battle. The enemy wasn't laughing anymore. The British soon formed two Royal Marine Rocket Troops and Congreve developed equipment, drill and training methods, and tactics for attacking and defending fortified positions, ambushing, and what might be considered rudimentary amphibious operations. Eventually, a Rocket Brigade was established. But, despite Congreve's increasing favor with the Government, Lord Wellington was not a proponent of his weapon. Britain's greatest combat hero did not care for the rocket's erratic behavior when it occasionally exploded over the heads of his soldiers with a detrimental effect on the physical safety of his men as well as their morale. He reluctantly permitted their use on "his" battlefield.13 Regardless of his detractors, Congreve continued to promote the employment of his rockets. Their use at the Battle of Liepzig in October 1813 was credited by some historians with inflicting extensive casualties and damage on the French. The Rocket Brigade saw considerable combat up to and including Waterloo; however, afterwards Wellington was rumored to have directed his rocket commander to trade his rockets in for field guns.14 Wellington notwithstanding, a Rocket Corps was formed as part of the British Army in early 1814. Similar rocket units began appearing across the European continent and in Russia.* Congreve's contribution to his Country were eventually recognized by his knighting and were, in fact, significant in many conflicts to come. His vision and ingenuity were clearly the foundation for the development of military rocketry which has evolved into contemporary state-of-the-art technology for artillery rockets. * It is interesting to note at this point that the Soviet Union claims that rockets were first used by Russians as early as the 15th century. They also contend that in the early 1600's in a publication, "Code of Military, Artillery and Other Matters pertaining to the Science of Warfare", authored by a Russian gunsmith, Onisim Mikhailov, refernce to "... cannon balls which run and burn ..." indicates the use of military rockets.(15) However it is also interesting to note that at the Battle of Liepzig in 1813, the Russians were supported by a British Rocket Brigade against Napoleon with very impressive results.(16) "The Rockets' Red Glare" During the growth of war rocketry in Britain, The United States expressed only a passing interest in this "new" weapon system. The recently-formed Republic had a host of other concerns that made serious study of a topic as frivolous as rocketry impossible. Yet, like the British, their attention would be gained as the result of finding themselves on the wrong end of a battlefield rocket barrage. In 1812, an unnecessary war occurred between Britain and the United States, one which started by both nations blundering into it. After a repulse of an American invasion of Canada, the British in turn landed military forces on America's shore. In 1814, their offensive included a threat to the American's new capitol in Washington. The Battle of Bladensburg, Maryland, outside Washington, D. C., saw the first recorded use of rockets on American soil, and the United States Marines were there. On 24 August 1814, a vacillating confrontation between a British Regiment and an American battalion of militia, reinforced by a contingent of Marines and sailors under the command of the American naval hero, Captain Joshua Barney, turned into an eventual rout when the British employed their Congreve rockets. Although the rocket barrages produced primarily a psychological effect on the troops, they were quite successful in disrupting the formations of the American militiamen. Barney had some experience with naval rockets while fighting in the Chesapeake, but the militia and the Marines were receiving their baptism under rocket fire. The Marines who were credited by the British with an aggressive battle and tenacious spirit were commanded by Marine Captain Samuel Miller assisted by Captain Alexander Sevier. The militia troops broke and ran almost immediately upon confronting this new, terrifying weapon of war. However, the Marines and sailors steadfastly held their ground stubbornly refusing to yield until their flank was exposed by the rapidly retreating soldiers.17 Neil H. Swanson in his book The Perilous Fight, which is a detailed account of the Battle of Bladensburg, provides some excellent insight into what it was like for these Marines who first experienced artillery rocket fire: There is something personal about these hurtling, fire-spouting things. You can see them come...The truth is that aiming is large- ly a matter of hope and intention. This new weapon is atleast as inaccurate as it is fear- inspiring... They fly every which way. But that is part of their terror...you can't know that it won't gush flame in your face and take three idiotic leaps and come darting back to bury it's red-hot metal tip in your guts..... That is the weakness of rockets: their flight can not be controlled. But the rocket barrage scarcely aimed, is not aimless....The rockets come with a hoarse, whooping roar. They pass close overhead with a roar like a storm wind In a chimney....Oh, God...rockets again.... not rockets...God, don't let them use rockets.(18) As a result of this encounter, the British were able to breakthrough the meager American defenses, continue their attack to the north, bombarding Fort McHenry in Baltimore where the employment of their rocket ship, the H.M.S. Erebus, inspired Francis Scott Key to pen our National Anthem. Eventually, they would lay seige to the city of Washington, burning it to the ground, but sparing the house of the Marine Commandant. It has been theorized that this building was not destroyed out of respect to the Marines gained from their valiant stance at Bladensburg. Sir General William Congreve died in May 1826 , and with his death ended the first phase of modern rocketry. The legacy of his desire and motivation to make rockets an integral part of modern weaponry soon began to fade. The next resurgence would again intertwine the British and Americans. Hale's Influence The next stage again involved the Royal Laboratory in Woolwich. In 1846, an English inventor, William Hale, entered rocket history by taking the Congreve rocket and improving its design. Rockets known for their erratic behavior in flight and their poor accuracy were improved significantly by Hale with his addition of fins at the base of the rocket. These fins, or "curved vanes", were used in conjunction with "tangential holes at the periphery of the base" (developed by an American inventor named Court) to replace the stick used by Congreve for stability in flight. The Hale rockets had a little less range (2000 yds) than Congreve's but provided a quantum jump in accuracy. Some of their erratic flight behavior was reduced and the ability to hit their assigned target was beginning to approach that of cannons. The Americans became more interested than the British military and with Hale's help began manufacturing rockets after purchasing the rights for $20,000.19 The Arsenal in Washington, D.C., under the supervision of the Ordnance Department of the U.S. War Department was responsible for the development of the Hale war rocket. In December 1846, the first American rocket battery was formed at Fort Monroe. Lieutenant General Winfield Scott then in command of the U.S. Army in Mexico had briefly experienced Congreve rockets years before in 1814. Based on that, the General authorized a rocket troop be sent to his army at Vera Cruz in early 1847. Six rocket "dischargers" and soldiers joined Scott in Mexico. The rocketeers as they were called for the first time were assigned as a contingent of the mountain howitzer batteries. There is very little recorded information but they are said to have fired their Hale rockets at Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Contreras, Molino Del Ray and Chapultepec. This last battle employment of rockets was apparently the first time United States Marines were fighting in combat associated with the offensive use of artillery rockets. The Mexican Army of Santa Anna is also reputed to have used Congreve rockets against the Americans with minimal effects. Most probably as a result of their inherent disadvantages, particularly range, logistics and battlefield signature, the U.S. rocket-howitzer troop was disbanded in 1848.20 From 1848 - 1862, the U.S. acquired improved versions of rockets and listed two types of Hale and one type of Congreve rocket in the inventory at the outbreak of the Civil War.21 It was also now possible to find a very precise definition and description of war rockets in Scott's "Military Dictionary" in 1861.22 At the outbreak of the Civil War in the United States, an experimental battery known as the 24th Independent Battery, New York Light Artillery, U. S. Volunteers, was formed in Albany New York. Its armament consisted of dischargers or launchers described as "breech-loading field pieces with a range of 5300 yards". The launcher was constructed of an eight foot length of wrought iron tubing which was perforated with 1 inch holes over its entire length. Another 3 inch diameter launcher made of 3/4 inch spirally-coiled wire was also developed. Both launchers were initially mounted on tripods with plans to adapt them to standard gun carriages.23 The results of the tests with the battery which were conducted at the Washington Arsenal under the eye of the Ordnance Department were conflicting, depending on which one was read. Some observers termed the firings "perfect", others cited them as a dismal failure. The accuracy was considered acceptable; the range was phenomenal for that period ( with a test rocket going almost three miles down the Potomac). Evidently, they were in reality less than "perfect" since a week after the test the battery was stripped of its rockets and refitted with standard cannon artillery pieces. Supposition was that storage and transportation difficulties along with manufacturing exactness problems were considered as prohibitive. Regardless, it remains a mystery today as to why even all experimentation was terminated at this point.24 Although the Union apparently decided against using rockets, they were not ignored completely. The Confederate Army reported employing rockets under the command of J.E.B. Stuart, who fired them at the Union troops of McClellan at Harrison's Landing on 3 July 1862. The South also used rockets sporadically in Texas from 1863 - 1864. The Confederacy purchased some of their rockets, but it also had limited manufacturing capabilities initially at Galveston and then at Houston.25 From 1866 to 1881, the Russians used a two inch diameter, ten pound Hale rocket fired from rocket tube tripods called "rocket stands". The Russians were only beginning their love affair with artillery rockets which would continue until today. Further detailed discussions of Soviet rocket development will be discussed later in the paper. Across the Atlantic, the Hale rocket was being used by the Hungarians, the Italians and most notably by the Austrians. Each country claimed victories as the result of their employment of rockets in battle. The Austrians were known for their elite Rocket Corps upon which they bestowed many honors before their defeat by the Prussians in the Seven Week War of 1866. It was during this period, 1850 - 1900, that the use of war rockets began to decline more rapidly because of the invention of rifled cannons and recoil mechanism for artillery. It soon became obvious that artillery was now far more accurate than the rockets and was quickly developing a range capability in excess of either Hale or Congreve ordnance. As the 19th century drew to a close, artillery rockets essentially disappeared from warfare with only some occasional experimentation from a few frustrated pioneers in Europe. An interesting example was Alfred Nobel. He pursued the use of the Hale rocket with a Swedish engineer, Lieutenant Colonel Baron von Unge, in applications as both an aerial torpedo and a ground launched weapon system. When Nobel died in 1896, his financial support of the project ended. As a result of this and the inability to improve the accuracy of the "mortar-launched" system, von Unge dropped the concept in favor of working on air- to-ground rockets. Friedrich Krupp later purchased the Unge patents and tried unsuccessfully to convert the "torpedo" rockets into a short-range artillery system in the early 1900's.26 Chapter 3 INTO THE TWENTIETH CENTURY Unplanned Obsolescence The progress of the rocket as an implement of war was temporarily sidetracked bunt eventually enhanced by the Industrial Revolution. As mentioned previously, the rifling of artillery cannon barrels and the refinements made to the carriage's ability to absorb the tremendous recoil forces of artillery shells contributed as much to the demise of the rocket as they did to the resurgence of cannon on the battlefield. The war rocket had once again reached a technical plateau. Its capabilities compared to the howitzer, particularly in both range and accuracy and therefore effectiveness, were now clearly inferior in the critical eye of the military professional. Throughout the early 1900's, a few dedicated rocket men continued to experiment with various uses for the weapon. As the artillery cannon's accuracy and range improved rapidly, the war rocket was unable to compete and quietly dropped from view. However, those who believed in the future of rockets continued their research, usually at their own expense since most governments did not see any advantage to spending money on what was now considered an inefficient and ineffective weapon system. However, their experiments were oriented more towards commercial uses of rockets for signalling and line-carrying. Just prior to World War I and continuing through that conflict, there were several minor efforts to develop rockets for both underwater and aerial combat uses. The torpedo research did not lead anywhere, but the work on air-to-air and air-to- ground rockets for aircraft showed promise and a glimpse at the future of air power. Both the French and the Russians demonstrated during the war with varying degrees of success that their pilots could launch rockets which were strapped to the underside of the aircraft wings at targets and occasionally hit something. The French were more interested in eliminating enemy observation balloons and zepelins, while the Russians were already understanding the value for close tactical air support for their infantry on the ground. Some use was also made during World War I of both signalling rockets and the commercials line- carrying versions which helped certain units clear barbed wire obstacles forward of their trenchlines. In the United States during the first quarter of the 20th century, there was little or no interest and activity in rocketry with one major historical exception. A young engineer named Robert H. Goddard was persevering in his lifelong ambition to see rockets used for space exploration ! As the rest of the world drifted precariously toward the Great War, Goddard's attention remained fixed on the engineering problems that confronted the rocket scientists. The Woodrow Wilson government, operating in an atmosphere of national isolationism, showed little curiosity for his work. However, the Smithsonian Institution did provide some funding so his research into liquid propellant, nozzles and combustion chambers could continue. In 1919, the United States entered World War I and its priorities changed. The Government almost immediately decided that Goddard's work could be of some practical advantage and sent him to California to conduct research and development of military rockets. Goddard produced a variety of war rockets and was successfully demonstrating their employment when the Great War ended. Almost as quickly as it had gained interest, the United States Government saw artillery and aerial rockets as an exotic form of ordnance with some lingering engineering problems. This fact combined with the peaceful post-war environment did not encourage further development of this weapon of death. Military research projects suddenly had no basis from which congressional funding could be justified and the idea of American military rockets faded once again.1 Up to this point in its history, The United States Marine Corps could not have been any farther removed from the advances of rocket science and technology. The brief encounters with rockets on the battlefield at Bladensburg in 1814 and Chapultepec in 1847 had absolutely no influence on the Marine Corps' perspective of warfare and combat weaponry. The Corps was still small in today's terms with very limited traditional maritime missions that just did not "fit" with the idea of artillery rockets. As the Marine Corps expanded during the First World War and fought as a part of the American Expeditionary Force, it is imaginable that some Leathernecks may have witnessed French Nieuports attacking German airships. However, if they had any experiences with war rockets or any visions about how the Marine Corps might make use of this weapon, they kept them to themselves. As is quite obvious, the attempts to resurrect the war rocket were at best half-hearted and virtually unpublicized. It wasn't until certain key events took place well into the century that the artillery rocket again gained the interest, and subsequent funding, of several governments. Both the Treaty of Versailles and the British debacle at Dunkirk were critical historical events. But only a few students of modern warfare have recognized their importance in the changing face of battlefield weaponry in general and war rockets in particular. Nebelwerfers It is difficult to state unequivocally whether the Germans or the Russians were the first to re-establish the vitality of the artillery rocket. This is primarily due to the scarcity or unavailability of Soviet records on their rocket development. The German interest in rockets is extremely well-documented and provides at least a good starting point. After the Treaty of Rapallo in 1922, there was extensive German-Russian cooperation in many areas, including military ordnance. Although there is no supporting evidence, one can conclude that there was at least some technology transfer between Russian rocket experts and the Germans. In the 1930's, the Ordnance Department of the German Army developed an interest in the rocket as a weapon of war. That interest was spawned more from practicality than from any prophetic vision of the battlefield. The Armistice signed in Versailles had made an attempt to emasculate the German military so as to preclude its resurgence in the future. The restrictions and limitations on arms, particularly on artillery, suddenly made rockets appear a logical, even cost-effective, alternative that might allow the Germans to keep up with their neighbors in the ongoing arms build-up. With unclear objectives and vacillating progress, the Germans were to establish a Rocket Proving Ground in Kummersdorf West by 1932. Eventually as the programs grew and the artillery rockets became more of a sideshow for the much larger V-2 Program, Peenemunde, a remote area along the Baltic coast, would become the center for rocket research and development in the new Reich. When the Second World War began, the Germans learned from their experiences in France. Hence, they saw an increasing need for employing smoke on the battlefield. A German engineers by the name of Nebel designed a large "smoke-shell mortar". This 150mm mortar, or "werfer", was designated the Nebelwerfer 41. It fired smoke and high explosive rockets from a six-barrel configuration of launcher tubes on a split-trail, wheeled carriage. Its shells, stabilized by axially offset gas nozzles, had a range of 6700 meters. The entire system fully loaded weighed almost 1700 pounds and was usually towed by German half-tracked vehicles. After it went into full production in 1942, the rocket launcher saw combat on all fronts. The rockets were fired singly every two seconds by a four-man firing section who operated the weapon electrically. The Nebelwerfer had one major drawback. When it fired, it produced a brilliant flash of backblast that was not only visible from a long distance, but also required its crew to seek cover before firing the weapon. This first modern, multiple rocket launcher (MRL), was considered "one of the most effective and most sophisticated pieces of rocket artillery used in the war."2 It was initially employed on the Russian front where, in 1942, the Russians reported a "new German minethrower". As its name implies, it was originally intended to provide effective chemical and smoke. It was just coincidental that its inventor's name, Nebel, was also the common military term for "smoke" in Germany at that time.3 One noted authority, Major General J.F.C. Fuller, was not as impressed as others with the German employment of their rocket launchers in World War II where he felt they were intent on using it against hardened or point targets. Fuller saw the rocket as a "tactical gap spanner". He considered a tactical gap as that spatial area of the battlefield which was not adequately covered by bullets, shells or bombs. The rocket launchers should have been developed and employed to bridge those gaps, rather than aimed towards the destruction of distant cities. He states, "The error the Germans fell into (with their large rockets) was due to not asking themselves from the start, 'What is the problem?'. Had they done so, they would have seen that it was to increase or impede tactical mobility; for movement and not destruction is the aim of tactics."4 As the Nebelwerfer's performance improved and its value was realized, the Germans designed a number of variants. One version saw the rocket launcher slightly re-configured and mounted entirely atop a Maultier half-tracked vehicle. This became necessary in order to ensure that the rocket launcher batteries could keep up with Panzer units. The Panzerwerfer 41 could carry its own ammunition and be fired from inside and was also used extensively on all fronts. The Germans continued their artillery rocket development and employment through the end of the war. They designed and built larger systems of the Nebelwerfer 4l, experimenting with interchangeable carriages, sights and prime movers. The Nebelwerfer 42 was a 2l0mm rocket launcher with five-barrels rather than the six of the 150mm "41". Other than that difference, the weapon was essentially identical to its older brother. The larger rockets also provided a maximum range increase to almost 10 kilometers. The Germans added 280mm, 300mm, and 320mm rocket systems to their inventory experimenting with both wooden and steel structures as well as ground platforms, towed carriages and half-tracked vehicles. Click here to view image Despite the German artillery rockets' reputed inaccuaray, they nevertheless saw extensive action in the west after their introduction to the Russian front. Artllery rockets were fired in large numbers at Cassino where they were dug into the rockes and hills, allowing Field Marshall Kesselring to "rain death on the Allies in a tenacious defense . . ." .5 In France, Field Marshall Rommel put 272 launchers (1632 tubes) into action in his defense east of the Orne River. A yet larger system, classified as a 420mm "mortar" using a fin-stabilized rocket projectile, was developed late in the war but never saw any combat. Artillery rockets were back in vogue. There were several other combatants who also realized their value, and although they acquired new rocket systens for different reasons than the Germans, they all nevertheless found sufficient justification to steadily build their rocket forces throughout the war. The Katyusha The history of rocket artillery from a Soviet perspective follows a sometimes divergent path than that written by the West. As a result it is often difficult to blend the two versions into one smoothly flowing historical account. The Russians, besides demonstrating something less than today's "glasnos" or "open- ness", were inclined to flavor their records with ideological and patriotic gibberish that usually has a negative impact on the reader and often tends to unintentionally discredit the real facts. Having stated that disclaimer, it is nonetheless important to detail the progress of rocket artillery in Russia for it is within that framework that war rockets, and specifically artillery rockets, have developed to the "state-of- the-art" technology we have today. The Soviet Union has been the single, continuous sponsor of multiple-launch rocket systems on the battlefield since World War II. As such, their contributions to the impetus, if not the hardware, of artillery rockets is by necessity essential to this paper. Within three months after the Germans invaded Russia in World War II, the Soviet Union deployed their Katyusha rocket systems nicknamed "Stalin's Organs" by Nazi's The Katyusha was actually a name for a series of multiple artillery rocket launchers that gained almost legendary fame in Russia during the war and have a highly regarded position in the Red Army ever since. The beginnings of Russian rocketry date back to the 15th century. Although the evidence seems very slight, Ivan A. Slukhai in his Russian Rocketry, A historical survey uses some scant references to validate his claim to this early use of Russian war rockets. However, there is no disputing that by the 19th century Russian military engineers were actively engaged in the development of war rockets. General Alexander Dmitrievich Zasyadko, a scientist and engineer at the upper echelons of the Russian military, led the effort to put solid fuel rockets into practical use on the battlefield. Test firings at the rocket facility in St. Petersburg led to the eventual employment of artillery rockets against the Turks in the Russo-Turkish war in 1828. In Slukhai's opinion, the Zasyadko rockets were successfully employed in battle and were particularly effective, if well-placed, in disrupting cavalry formations. The "rocket institute" in St. Petersburg was headed by a General Konstantin Ivanovich Konstantinov who is claimed to be the first true pioneer of Russian rocketry. Under his direction from 1847 to 1871, the military rocket program successfully designed and employed 2", tripod-mounted rocket launchers that were effective in the defense of Sevastopol during the Crimean War. Although there is very little information available, it is thought that the Russians also were using ship-launched rocket systems by this time. These weapons were considered by the Russians to be most effective in "crushing the reserves" and "with surprising accuracy . . .widening the breaches caused by artillery."6 Russian rocketry apparently followed a similar path with that of the west through the First World War. They tried experiments with rockets launched by aircraft and used illuminating rockets in combat during both the Russo-Japanese War and World War I. As World War II approached, the Soviets cloaked their rocket program in great secrecy which has made detailed research of their efforts difficult at best due to the scarcity of available written material. By the early 1930's, the Soviet Union had increased their program to manufacture modern artillery rockets at their Gas Dynamics Laboratory in Leningrad (formerly St. Petersburg). The military engineers who had worked on the older Russian aircraft rockets proposed "to build a multi-barrel launch unit . . .as part of the armament of land forces".7 This idea came to fruition in June 1938 when the Scientific Research Institute of Rockets began work on a 132mm, 24 tube system. After several faltering steps, six test weapons mounted on trucks were readied and tested during the summer of 1939. By December 1939, the first BM-13 multiple rocket launcher unit had been built. During the next two years, the Russians built a manufacturing plant for the production of both rocket projectiles and launchers. Early versions of the BM-13, the original "Katyusha", were constructed on a ZIS-6 truck with 16 launch rails. Other variants used Lend-Lease vehicles with much of the original rocket ordnance imported from Tennessee. It is not easy to draw a comparison of Russian and German rocket performance on the battlefield since the systems were considerably different and each nation employed its artillery in support of distinctly different infantry tactics. A day before the official outbreak of the Great Patriotic War (WW II), 21 June 1941, the Soviet military hierarchy received approval to significantly step up production of their rocket systems. Concurrently, at the Red Banner Artillery School in Moscow the first rocket battery was being quickly formed and readied for combat. On 2 July 1941, the Battery under the command of Captain Dmitri Flerov moved to the front. As a result of haste, the field rocket battery was equipped with only five of the seven planned mutiple rocket launchers. Among its other equipment, it was assigned one 122mm towed artillery howitzer to be used as a ranging gun, and 44 trucks to transport the 600 rounds of rocket projectiles, 100 rounds of 122mm shells, seven days of rations and three truck-loads of fuel. This battery was designated to join the 20th Army while the second and third batteries were assigned to the 19th and 16th Armies respectively.8 Production of rocket launchers continued at a rapid pace with the intention to field regiments of rocket artillery by the end of 1941. In sheer numbers, the Soviets had 424 launchers deployed on their western front by late 1942 and almost 1700 weapons by 1943. Before the end of the war, they had formed seven Guards Rocket Barrage Divisions consisting of two or three rocket barrage brigades or regiments capable of supporting major attacks and disrupting large-scale enemy assaults. There were also numerous separate rocket brigades assigned to the Breakthrough Artillery Divisions. The Raketnyye Voyska, or Rocket Troops, were made a legend by the Soviet press.9 Flerov's battery was to distinguish itself in numerous Click here to view image engagements against the "Hitlerite soldiers." They also recognized some of the disadvantages of flash signature and weapon inaccuracy; and the unit was instrumental in developing tactics and techniques to minimize these effects. On 6 October 1941, however, the Germans were able to physically locate Flerov's unit and eventually encircled it. The rocketeers, or Katyushniks as they came to be called, spiked their own weapons just before the entire battery was destroyed by the Germans. The Battery's early exploits combined with their obvious contributions on the battlefield gained for them the honorary designation as a Guards unit, considered elite troops in the Red Army. The "Guards" descriptor became the standard designation for most rocket regiments and divisions. In August 1943, rocket barrages were first used with mechanized forces to break-up enemy offensive formations and to breach defensive positions, both of which they did very effectively. Mr. Ivan Slukhai in his history of Russian rocketry provides some insight into the developing image of Soviet rocket units: The most characteristic traits in the combat exploits of the first rocketeers were their sudden appearance at the most difficult sec- tors of the front; their speed band determina- tion in firing; their .. ability to fire a maximum of explosives at the enemy within the shortest possible time, when necessary; and their ability to shatter the enemy morally as well as physically. These and other tradi- tions of the Second World War took root among the rocketeers. They have been further strengthened and developed, and have become a standard . . .(1O) By the time of the great defensive battle of Stalingrad, artillery rockets had won complete acceptance within and outside the Soviet military. The Russian soldiers at the front lines were solidly in favors of receiving their support and they witnessed their arrival in ever increasing numbers on the battlefield. It is clear that this "new" weapon system fit the requirements for the Soviet supporting arms. As the noted British historian and strategist Sir B. H. Liddell Hart points out, the Russians were seriously lacking in artillery technology, especially in fire direction and control. As a result they compensated by using massive concentrations of artillery which led to their development of the concept of "breakthrough artillery". Not only were their fires concentrated, but so was the actual positioning of the field howitzers which was clearly "suicidal" and they recognized it. As Liddell Hart explained, "The Russians have been attempting to overcome this problem by improvements in their fire control equipment . . . and the accuracy of their weapons; at the same time there is evidence that they are attempting to develop heavy concentrations of fire through the use of multiple rocket launchers . . . (which) can provide a tremendous volume of fire in a short period of time and then have to move off to a safe location before counteraction can be effective."11 Hart described the rocket launchers as the "ideal weapon from the Russian point of view." They provided the Soviets with the massed fires over a broad area while also shattering their enemy's morale. This capability in many ways mitigated their shortcomings in fire direction and control which affected rocket barrages as much as cannon fire. The weapons were mobile relative to towed howitzers and could be "advertised as a distinctively Soviet weapon" which had a positive effect on the Russian esprit. As the Soviets increased their degree of mechanization with tanks and other tracked vehicles, they required supporting arms to be at critical places at the right time. The rocket launchers were capable of doing this while "the mass of conventional towed artillery struggled to catch up as best it could."12 Much is the same today. Throughout the remainder of World War II, the Soviets primarily employed the BM-13 as their major rocket launcher system. It had a range of 8500 meters and the l32mm rockets were fired from steel I-section rails mounted at various times on the ZIS trucks, then the GAZ-63 tracks, and eventually on the T-60 and T-70 light tank chassis. An improved version with an increased range of 11,000 meters was developed toward the end of the war. In addition to this sytem the Soviets also introduced the BM-8 (82mm, 5500 meter range, truck mounted), the M-30 (300mm, 2800 meter range, ground-mounted frame), and the BM-31 (3l0mm, 4800 meter range, truck mounted) into service. There was evidence of other systems, including 120mm and 280mm that were used during the Seige of Leningrad but little information is known or available on these launchers. Figure 3-1 below summarizes both the German and Russian artillery rocket systems fielded in World War II. By war's end, the Katyushas had also been employed aboard ship and were used against the Japanese at Kaichia and Kurie Islands in 1945. Click here to view image Rocket launchers also continued in active service with the Soviet Forces after the Second World War. In 1954, an entire new line of weapons replaced the Katyushas. The Soviets saw the rocket launchers as being Integral to their forces to counter "enemy missiles and nuclear weapons, and to overcome small pockets of resistance, and also destroy enemy tanks."13 It was therefore essential that the development of artillery rockets continue. Although most of the 1954 systems have now been phased out of Soviet and Warsaw Pact Inventories, they are still active in the armed forces of Afghanistan, China, Egypt and Somalia. It was also about this time that the FROG (Free Rocket Over Ground) appeared with the Division Artillery Group (DAG). These systems provided the Soviets witch both conventional and nuclear capabilities at much increased ranges up to 60 kilometers. With this new stage of Russian rocket modernization, the BM- 21 would become the standard multiple rocket launcher system for Soviet forces. Although the weapon did not appear in public until the early sixties, it became the mainstay of Warsaw Pact rocket forces and remains so to this day. The 40-tube launcher is mounted on a truck, usually a URAL-375D (6x6) but more recently on the modernized Czech Tatra 813 (8x8) armored truck capable of carrying additional ammunition. The BM-2l uses two different types of rockets, including a short-range version with an 11,000 meter capability and a long- range model that reaches out to 20,500 meters. It is designed to fire chemical as well as high explosive projectiles from positions normally 5000 meters behind the Forward Edge of the Battle Area (FEBA) in either offensive or defensive operations. The batteries which are found in motorized rifle regiments or in rocket battalions of motorized rifle divisions and tank divisions are capable of occupying firing positions in approximately 30 minutes, conducting their missions, and leaving those positions within 10 - 14 minutes. These rocket units aggressively seek out enemy firing batteries, command and control centers, and large concentrations of manuever units through coordinated use of radio direction finding (RDF) units. Once the electronic signature of any of these targets is confirmed, the Soviets will fire a number of batteries or battalions of rocket launchers to obliterate the target. This type barrage can effectively saturate an area almost one square kilometer in size. Soviet artillery rocket development continues with the arrival in 1977 of the BM-27, a 220mm system with a range of 40 kilometers. The BM-27 is the replacement for the BM-21 and is currently only used in Soviet forces. The capabilities of this weapon are provided in more detail in Appendix D. The Dunkirk Factor A spectacular fire at the Royal Laboratory in Woolwich at the turn of the century had highlighted the problems of storing rocket propellants. The entire inventory of test rockets was destroyed and, although the fire had been difficult to put out, there were no casualties. The whole affair was apparently viewed by the British government as a clear demonstration that such a tremendous concentration of rocket fire only produced minimal destructive results. Hence. the weapon's military worth was called into serious question.14 As a result of this unfortunate event, artillery rockets were dropped from the ordnance inventory and would not re-surface again until the 1930's. Some interest grew in Great Britain in the late 1930's to reinforce and modernize its air defense systems. Consequently, Woolwich again became the focal point for rocket research. This effort was primarily aimed at surface-to-air rockets in defense of the homeland against possible air attacks. Obviously aware of the cost-effectiveness of manufacturing rocket systems, the British rapidly engineered several advances in both propellant and launcher design. By 1939, after extensive test firings in Jamaica, the first "Z" Battery was formed and located at Cardiff. It wasn't until 7 April 1941 that the first German aircraft was shot down, but as of December 1942 the British had fielded 91 batteries that fired 3-inch anti-aircraft rockets. Aside from the surface-launched AA rockets, the British military saw little value during the early stages of World War II in other rocket research, particularly artillery rockets. However, the disaster at Dunkirk in May and June 1940 caused the loss of a great number of British field artillery howitzers and guns. Suddenly they needed to quickly replace these weapons, and artillery rockets seemed a quick fix. The rockets and their launchers were inexpensive to build and they could be produced in large numbers in a relatively short period of time. Concurrently, the fateful Dieppe Raid also provided impetus to the program but in a different direction. Dieppe demonstrated the necessity for more amphibious assault firepower. Again rockets appeared to provide the answer.15 Initially the landing craft-mounted "Sea Mattress" system using 5-inch rockets was designed in 1944. The system was capable of firing 800 - 1000 rounds in 45 seconds. The British Army was skeptical of its effectiveness for application ashore, due primarily to the perceived inaccuracies of the weapon. However, after the Royal Navy's successes in shore bombardment during the Sicily campaign and at Normandy, they reconsidered the weapon's potential. The "Land Mattress" was based on the Navy's concept but finally settled on a smaller 3-inch rocket system that could be launched from trucks and self-propelled tracked vehicles. Tests conducted in May 1944 still did not fully convince the Army. However, the Canadians were impressed enough to place the first order for a dozen launchers; these were successfully used in their crossings of the Rhine and the Scheldt during the Fall of 1944. The Army finally settled on the thirty-tube, front-loaded, 3-inch rocket system that had a range in excess of 7,000 meters. However, by the time the system was in full production and available for use on the battlefield, the war was over. Although a little late for real effect, the British had gained valuable experience in the field of war rockets that they would share with the Americans. This cooperation would have a very positive impact on the rocket program of their allies. Only the Japanese and the United States also employed artillery rockets during World War II. The Japanese effort was not taken seriously by their military hierarchy. They did field some crudely designed and roughly-constructed rocket systems in the Pacific campaign. Mostly wooden troughs or rails were used with spin-stabilized rockets that had ranges of approximately 2,000 meters. In 1944 and 1945, these Japanese rockets were used against American soldiers and Marines most notably at Luzon and Iwo Jima. American war rockets are a story unto themselves. Chapter 4 AMERICA'S MODERN WAR ROCKETS As we saw earlier, the United States experienced a brief flurry of rocket research and development during the latter stages of World War I. Dr. Robert H. Goddard was successful in designing war rockets that were never used. Following the war, all serious military interest died. When World War II erupted for the United States in Europe and the Pacific, an expected revival of the military's interest in rockets as an implement of war became evident. However, the United States was starting from nothing and required some outside assistance. The Re-birth of the U.S. War Rocket Although it was not comparable to the German rocket program or even the Katyusha employment by the Russians, the American rocket development was probably far more extensive than was recognized then or now. By the end of the war, the Army was spending at the rate of $150 million per year on rockets, while the Navy's expenditures exceeded $1 billion ! There were over 1200 rocket manufacturing facilities across the United States serving the Navy program. Although some less than serious rocket experimentation had been done at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in the 1930's, the United States was required to approach the British for help in resurrecting their war rocket research and development program. The entire concept may never have received any attention if Dr. Clarence N. Hickman, a former associate of Goddard's, had not written the head of Bell Labs about the possible advantages of rockets in combat. His letter set is motion a chain of events that eventually led to the sponsorship of the rocket program by the Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) and its National Defense Research Committee (NDRC). A visit by a British scientific mission under Sir Henry Tizzard to the United States and a similar trip to Great Britain by Charles Lauritsen of NDRC during 1941 assisted in resolving some initial propellant problems the Americans were having.1 The combination of British know-how and sudden American motivation enabled the program to come quickly up to speed. Dr. Hickman joined efforts with Charle Lauritsen, and soon Sections H and L (named for their leaders) were established within the Armor and Ordnance Division of NDRC. Hickman's work was generally on the east coast while Lauritsen took the program to the West Coast at Cal Tech. Their initial work centered around air-to-ground rockets but expanded quickly to all forms of rockets. By 1941, there were numerous public and private facilities actively engaged in the development and production of rockets. On the East Coast, the government had contracted with George Washington University along with the Universities of Wisconsin, Duke, and Minnesota to conduct research; Hercules Powder Company worked on the propellant with the universities while Budd Wheel Co. (Detroit) and Bell Labs developed various components and equipment. All rocket motors were produced by Reaction Motors, Inc. of Pompton Plains, New Jersey now a division of Morton Thiokol. Test firings were conducted at Aberdeen, Picatinny, Dahlgren, and in the Mojave Desert. U.S. Army Ground Rockets The best known of all the rocket ordnance during the Second World War was the Bazooka, named after a musical instrument made popular on a national radio show. The weapon was a 2.36-inch anti-tank system developed by an Army Colonel, Leslie Skinner, in conjunction with C. N. Hickman. Its shaped-charge warhead proved very successful at penetrating armor during test firings . It was rushed to the North African front in great secrecy in September 1942 where the soldiers without benefit of training learned to use the weapon in combat through trial and error.2 A 3.5-inch model was later designed and employed during the Korean Conflict. Skinner and Hickman also teamed up to developed the most successful barrage rocket systems produced and employed during the war. The 4.5-inch rocket formed the basis around which most of the artillery rocket launchers used by the U.S. Army in Europe were designed. The Army saw distinct advantages in the artillery rockets that had a range out to almost 4000 meters. Their light weight and small crew allowed them to go almost anywhere firing a large number of projectiles over a broad target area which often found the enemy unable to take cover. The first artillery multiple rocket launcher to be placed nto service by the U.S. Army was the T27, or "Xylophone" as it came to be called. It had eight 7.5 foot tubes mounted side by side on a GMC or Studebaker 2 1/2 ton truck. As most systems that were developing in the field artillery, the 4.5-inch rockets (M8) were fired in a "ripple" which meant they were fired singly in rapid succession. This technique was helpful in reducing the blast effect on the next rocket and is still employed even with today's multiple rocket systems. It could be considered a moot point now, but the multiple rocket launchers that were used in both the European and Pacific theaters during World War II were never officially approved for "standardization" by the Ordnance or War Department. The T- designator indicates that the weapon's actual status was that of a test item. The letter "E" and number at the end of the model number would reflects the various versions of the same system. An additional anecdote: the Americans had reached an aggreement with the Soviet union at the Tehran Conference on the mutual exchange of data on rockets and rocket launchers. As late as April 1944, the U.S. sent a mission of military engineers and scientists to Moscow with instructions to provide detailed information on American rocket design and development to the Russians. When the Americans requested answers to a list of detailed technical questions they were rebuffed by the Soviets who only consented to their study and evaluation of captured German weapons.3 The T27 saw wide use throughout the European conflict by the Army. The 1st Army converted a 105mm howitzer battalion (18th Field Artillery Battalion) to a T27 rocket battalion in November 1944 and reported "excellent results" when it saw action in the Hurtgen Forest during the Battle of the Bulge. However, there were some legitimate criticisms that "the artillerymen were not enthusiastic, disliking the inaccuracy of the rocket and the smoke and flash that attracted counterbattery fire." The battalion continued to work with the weapon system, developing the now familiar "shoot and scoot" tactics which demanded increased mobility. They also saw the potential to use the jeep as a platform to gain that mobility.4 After the T27 gave birth to the T27EI (ground-mounted) and the T27E2 (24 tubes), the T34 made its appearance on the battlefield. This was also a 4.5-inch launcher but was constructed of a sixty-tube array which was mounted to the top of an M4 Sherman tank. It was aimed by traversing the turret and the wooden rocket launchers were disposable by the tank crew after they had been fired. It was nicknamed the "Calliope". The 1st Army, for reasons not stated in their after action reports, decided they did not like the apparent disadvantages of the tank-mounted T34.5 The 3rd Army employed eleven tanks with the T34 launcher in the 710th Tank Battalion. They reported that the great concentration of firepower had a positive effect on troop morale. However, they recommended "that launchers be mounted on light tanks rather than M4's . . . (due to) difficulty of jettisoning the launcher resulting in the loss of the Sherman tank as a fighting vehicle."6 The T44 and T45 launchers were eventually developed in several versions. One type was mounted in amphibious vehicles such as the DUKW and the LVT(A4) and saw actions at Normandy and in the Pcacific. The T44 consisted of 120 tubes while the 14-tube T45 was mounted in the back of a 1/4-ton truck (jeep) and also used by the Marines as well as the Army. The T66 was the last model designed and developed during the War. It used an improved 4.5-inch rocket (M16) and was mounted on a towed, wheeled carriage. It entered action with the 1st Army in Germany in May 1945 and was employed in actual combat only once in Europe. Towards the end of hostilities, the "Honeycomb" with 24 tubes replaced the Xylophone on a wheeled carriage and the "Hornets' Nest", another tank-mounted 60-tube launcher, replaced the Calliope. Before it was all over, there were five rocket battalions formed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma each equipped with 36 Honeycombs. They were employed in the Philippines and Okinawa, and were readying themselves for the assault of the Japanese mainland when the war ended. Following the war the T66 with its slightly improved range (4800 meters) and better accuracy would eventually become thee standard multiple rocket launcher for the American ground forces through the Korean Conflict. Click here to view image The Army had also experimented with some 7.2-inch systems. They were of very short range (210 - 1098 meters) and were basically employed as direct fire demolition rockets. A tank- mounted version the M17 (T40) had twenty rockets, saw action in Europe in 1944, and gained the name "Whiz-bang". It could not be considered a true artillery weapon because it was used only in a direct firing mode. The Marine Buck Rogers' Men No detailed account of the beginnings of multiple rocket launchers in the United States Marine Corps would make sense unless some background about the rocket systems employed by the U.S. Navy in support of amphibious landings was presented. The United States Navy quickly recognized the significant advantages of surface-launched rockets aboard ship. The British had demonstrated their utility, not only in the Second World War, but also as far back as the War of 1812. Based on the Royal Navy's "Hedgehog" and "Mattress" systems, the United States added rocket motors and longer rails and used a 5-inch spinner Beach Barrage Rocket that provided them an extended range (improved out to 5 miles) over the 4.5-inch. Some of these systems were tested in firings from landing craft off the coast of Camp Pendleton, California. The primary purpose, as the development engineers saw it, was to provide more substantial pre-assault bombardment for amphibious operations. The Marine Corps had agreed in early 1943 to the use of their Base on the west coast for rocket testing of both sea and land-based systems. Eventually, they were to form a Rocket Battalion under the command of Major Valentine Hoffman for test and training purposes only. This was to be the Corps' first real involvement with war rockets.7 The Navy mounted their weapon systems on various platforms from submarines to PT boats, landing crafts, and warships. The latter became known as "rocketships" and were spectacularly effective in pre-assault shore bombardment during the Pacific campaigns. The Navy also used the Army's 7.2-inch "Whiz Bang" rockets and re-configured them to mount 120 tubes in amphibious landing craft. These systems were known by the name "Woofus". During the War, the U.S. Navy engineers worked with numerous other rocket systems for attacking submarines and other surface ships. They also developed air-to-surface and air-to-air systems that were precursors for today's high technology in aircraft rockets. The rocketships have since disappeared from the Fleet along with many other naval gunfire weapon systems that are still critical to landing amphibious forces on hostile beaches. However, as will be seen in Chapter 6, the concept may not yet be dead. Almost seven months before the U.S. Army deployed multiple rocket launchers in Europe, the U.S. Marines were using them in combat in the Pacific.* It is difficult to surmise how this occurred since there is nothing recorded as to the sequence of events. One can only conclude that as a result of the Navy's extensive employment of amphibious assault landing craft fitted with rocket launchers from December 1943 on, the Marines quickly recognized the practicality of the system and moved rapidly to * It should be noted that the Marines were not the first to use rockets either during an amphibious assault or ashore in the Pacific. The 2nd Engineer Special Brigade (ESB) rigged DUKW's and, later, trucks and LVT's (buffaloes) with rocket launchers. They were first employed in support of General MacArthur's forces in New Guinea in October, 1943. However, the Marines' use of artillery rockets was far more extensive than the Army's. introduce artillery rockets to the battlefield. It was reported by some of the Corps' first rocketeers on Saipan that due to the paucity of rocket ammunition for the Marines they were forced to borrow ordnance from their Naval counterparts.8 Another facet of the historical development of Marine Corps war rockets also seems to be the total lack of documented decisions on either the initial acquisition of artillery rockets or the eventual obsolescence after the Korean War. There was a degree of secrecy early in the program, however, any classified policy letters of instructions would since have been declassified, but none can be found. With the aforementioned circumstances clearly in mind, the following historical chain of events may unfortunately seem fragmented. Following a decision to employ multiple rocket launchers made some time during the winter of 1943 - 1944, the Marine Corps dispatched a Major Sydney Watson to Hawaii to establish the first training school for Marine rocketeers. Major Watson opened the Rocket School at Camp Beaumont in Oahu and the first class was conducted fromn 20 March to 16 April 1944. Major Watson had clearly been involved with rockets before he left for the Pacific and would later be instrumental in developing some Marine- specifics field techniques and expedients to improve the effectiveness of the Corps' artillery rockets. The first two Provisional Rocket Detachments were officially designated on 13 April 1944. They eventually grew to six and all Click here to view image would see action in the Pacific. First Lieutenant Richard A. Brenneman, USMCR, became the Marine Corps' first commander of rocket troops; later, First Lieutenant James O. Newpher, USMCR, assumed command of the 2nd Provisional Rocket Detachment. The 1st Prov Rkt Det (USMC abbreviation) was attached to the 4th Marine Division of the V Amphibious Corps in Maui and the 2nd Det was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division. A detachment was structured with one officer and fifty-seven enlisted Marines, most of whom learned their trade through "on the job training". The Marine Rocket detachments were first employed against the Japanese at Saipan in June 1944. As combat surrounded them, they developed through trial and error the tactics for the remainder of the war. Their first few fire missions saw them placed in front of Marine infantry positions to supposedly maximize their range capability !9 It appears that this technique was soon discarded and the rocket launchers were usually deployed just behind the forward line of troops to provide them at least a modicum of security. After Saipan, the Marine rocketeers saw action in most of the island campaigns. Sergeant George Doyling wrote in July 1944 in his article entitled "The Buck Rogers' Men" (published in the Leatherneck magazine nine months later for security reasons) that "when the Marine rockets went into action on Tinian, the Japs thought we were using automatic artillery."10 He went on to describe how the Marines had fitted "recon trucks" (jeeps and Click here to view image 3/4-tons) with twelve launchers each which were mounted over the rear axle and fired electrically from the cab. These were the 4.5-inch rockets (M8) used in the T45 model launchers. Although there is no written documentation, photographic evidence obtained showed that the Marines also experimented with tank-mounted multiple rocket launchers in the Pacific during the war. The 3rd Provisional Rocket Detachment was formed in November 1944 from a cadre of one officer and twenty-seven Marines drafted from the 1st Detachment. First Lieutenant George H. Ward, USMCR, took command and later received an augmentation of another twenty-seven men from the 5th Marine Division to whom the "Det" was attached. They soon received twelve 1-ton trucks (4x4), four from each infantry regiment, and twelve 1-ton trailers from 13th Marines. During the last half of November 1944, these vehicles were wired and fitted with launchers and Ward's detachment commenced its training. The Det was divided into three sections, all of which embarked for Iwo Jima in early January 1945. Following rehearsals and additional training at Maui, Pearl Harbor, and Saipan, they participated in the landing at Iwo Jima on 19 February 1945. Two sections (3rd, 1st) landed at H+4 hours and H+7 hours with the infantry regiments they were supporting with one rocket launcher being lost in the surf. The last section (2nd) landed on D+1 with the 27th Marines. Iwo Jima provided an abundance of experience and expertise for the rocketeers. Lieutenant Ward in his after action report pointed out several "lessons learned". They quickly ascertained that ammunition handlers had not been incorporated into the Table off Organization (Appendix B); this minor failing placed an extreme burden on the rest of the detachments to maintain their sustained rate of fire in combat. Additionally, a gravity quadrant that allowed more rapid elevation adjustment was developed in the field by Gunnery Sergeant S. E. Estes which could be checked quickly with his gunner's quadrant.11 Lieutenant Ward also explained that moving the vehicles over rough terrain often caused too much play to develop in the launcher which subsequently affected the accuracy of the weapon. He commented positively on the attachment of sections directly to front-line battalions where they would be used more often and more effectively. He also was concerned about survivability when he stated that because of their lack of armor and high silhouette, "it was the practice of the sections immediately to displace following the firing of a mission. This procedure proved necessary as the site from which the barrage was launched was invariably subjected to (enemy) mortar and artillery fire."12 These Marines also discovered that after firing only 500 rounds that the launcher would begin demonstrating mechanical problems. They recommended that the rocket detachments be given a higher priority for landing during the amphibious operation and a higher priority for ammunition resupply which was always a problem. On Iwo Jima, the detachment fired a total of 14,358 rockets!13 Late in the Iwo Jima campaign, the sections were provided the new, larger 7.2-inch rockets which were fired from improvised wooden troughs designed by Major Watson. These rockets were only used in small numbers; however, they presented the Marines with some problems. The motor tubes and fuze adapters would fly back from the impact area toward the firing position often causing a hazard to the rocketeers. Captain John Nieman USMCR echoed Ward's comments after his 4th Prov Rkt Det saw action at Okinawa. He explained that, due to a serious lack of appreciation and knowledge of their effect, his weapons were not used very much until he put on a demonstration for the battalion commanders after which he had more than enough work. He also noted the need for ammo handlers and for forward observer teams. Captain Nieman suggested the design of time and delay fuzes for the rockets and saw the potential for track vehicles as prime movers.14 This would provide the rockets even more mobility and allow them to engage a wider range of targets. As the Second World War drew to a close, the Marines could look back over the last year and a half of their involvement with artillery rockets and wonder if the face of battle might be changing before their eyes. In a relatively short period of time, they had acquired a weapon system unlike any other weapon Click here to view image heretofore used by the Leathernecks in combat. They had learned and had developed tactics and techniques that proved this weapon's value to the supported infantryman in contact with the enemy. Although there were no comments or views expressed by senior officers in the chain of command who may have had the opportunity to endorse the various chronologies and after-action reports, later documents published by Headquarters Marine Corps allowed for the future development of artillery rockets based on the proven utility to the Corps in combat. Clearly, there were the traditional disadvantages and problems, historically common to Ball war rocket systems, still to be worked out, The visuals signature of the weapon was a survivability concern; the range needed to be increased; the available types of warheads and fuzes had to be improved; ammunition handling and resupply required modification. There were others of lesser significance, but the advantages of a lightweight, maneuverable system capable of delivering a large amount of artillery ordnance, "steel on target", in a relatively short period of time were obviously apparent. As the Marine Corps entered the post-war phase, all of its rocket detachments were disbanded, however, it seemed that the Marines might also continue to seriously pursue the development of multiple rocket launchers. They did. An article that appeared in the Marine Corps Gazette just after the war entitled , Why Not Rocket Artillery ?, written by a Lieutenant Colonel Floyd R. Moore, USMC, highlighted many of the advantages and disadvantages already mentioned. Moreover, Colonel Moore noted that the Corps was studying the T66 24-tube rocket launcher that used the improved Army 4.5-inch rocket and provided a significant increase in range. He recommended that the Marines adopt a rocket battalion of three batteries equipped with twelve launchers each. In his words, "such a battalion attached to a Marine Division would more than double the fire power of its field artillery."15 It is difficult to judge whether Headquarters Marine Corps acted on LtCol Moore's suggestion or decisions were made separate from any outside influence. Regardless, the United States Marine Corps did actively pursue tests through their research and development activity, the Marine Corps Equipment Board, located at the Marine Barracks in Quantico, Virginia. The tests proved satisfactory and the T66E2 Multiple Rocket Launcher with its M16 4.5-inch rocket was adopted for use with Marine artillery in late 1946 or early 1947. However, Headquarters Marine Corps did not field a battalion but officially approved only one 4.5-inch rocket battery of 18 launchers for each division.16 These batteries were assigned to the artillery regiments and remained active up to and through the Korean War. With the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, the 1st 4.5- inch Rocket Battery deployed with the 1st Marine Division. Meanwhile, back at Camp Pendleton, California, the 1st 4.5-inch Rocket Battalion (minus Battery C) was activated on 30 September 1950 as a component of Fleet Marine Forces Pacific (FMFPAC) Troops. Lieutenant Colonel George B. Thomas was assigned as its first commanding officer. Battery A had previously been formed and was used as the pool for drawing the cadre around which the battalion headquarters was built. Battery B was not activated until later. Battery C was the deployed rocket battery which had already departed with 1st Division. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas reported that by October 1950 his battalion had been staffed with only 39% of its personnel and 21% of its equipment. The T66E2 rocket launchers they received were in serious need of a maintenance overhaul. Thomas was obviously concerned about their level of training as well, for he stated in his unit's historical diary that, "lack of personnel (and rocket ammunition) hampers (our) effective training."17 Colonel Thomas relates in subsequent diaries that his battalion experienced severe difficulties in obtaining rocket launchers. Battery B's weapons had to be returned to depot maintenance after their initial acceptance inspection. Battery A's six launchers were surveyed with the requirement for six replacement weapons levied on higher headquarters. By the end of March 1951, the 1st 4.5-inch Rocket Battalion was at 74% of its total strength and 99% of its equipment. Even then, after a field exercise, Battery B's rocket launchers malfunctioned and performed so poorly that they were all returned again to depot maintenance for "corrective action".18 Apparently, the first Marine Corps rocket battalion was going nowhere, particularly into the future, very quickly. They were clearly getting ready if needed in Korea, but their organizational problems fortunately never affected their combat performance. For undisclosed reasons, the 1st 4.5-inch rocket battalion never got there. Back on the East Coast, the United States Marine Corps Equipment Board was reinforcing the Marine Corps position on the value of rocket launchers in combat. In its Study on Marine Corps Equipment Policy published in January 1951 and signed for the Commandant by Major General Merwin Silverthorn USMC, Chief of Staff, the Board clearly saw a future requirement for a rocket launcher which would exploit its weight savinqs by being light and portable. It was determined that a system not weighing more than 2000 pounds with a range of 12,000 yards was necessary. Although the Board did not see any need to pursue larger, heavier rocket systems to replace conventional artillery, it did state that the Marine Corps "should maintain an active interest in this category of equipment until such time as research and development indicates an attainable accuracy and lethality equivalent to that of the comparable cannon."19 While the planners were planning in Virginia, Battery C rocketeers were putting "hot steel on target" along the western and central front north of Inchon. Battery C, redesignated 1st 4.5-inch Rocket Battery on 1 January 1952, was attached to 11th Click here to view image Marine Regiment and assigned a mission of general support of the 1st Marine Division. They were equipped with six T66E4 launchers, six prime movers (6x6 2 1/2-ton trucks), three supply trucks and four 1/4-ton jeeps for reconnaissance and general motor transport. From September 1950 through the end of the conflict, the Battery had at least eight commanders. Why there were so many commanders in a short period of time is yet unclear. They fired from 6,000 to as many as 10,000 rockets in any given month on the front in direct support of all three infantry regiments (1st, 5th and 7th). Occasionally they were "attached" to infantry regiments or even battalions, but typically came under operational control of the artillery regiment. Wire communications remained their primary means of communicating throughout the war, with radio used as an alternate.20 Not long after entering combat ammunition resupply surfaced again as a priority concern. One battery commander was of the opinion that "ammunition resupply by this time had surpassed the critical stage. At this time various means and methods are being attempted to solve the major problems of the rocket battery in the field of which the critical resupply of rocket ammo is paramount."21 There were yet other considerations in the development of operating procedures for the Marine rocket launchers that became apparent during the Korean Conflict. Later, Captain J.J. Travers USMC, Battery Commander, explained in his historical report written during the summer of 1952 that his battery was used effectively against North Korean strongpoints, and for reinforcing fire for platoon and company defensive areas, bivouac areas and supply points. The tactics of the communists dictated that most of the rocket fire missions be conducted at night. The Battery also fired in support of the 1st Korean Marine Corps Regiment.22 In August 1952, the rocket battery engaged in what was then considered a "tactical innovation".23 In close coordination with the medium helicopter squadron HMR-161, the Battery trained, rehearsed and employed artillery rockets in a heliborne role. This was the first instance of supporting arms being lifted to forward positions by helicopters. The invention was mothered by the necessity to "shoot and scoot" due to the rockets' signature effect of drawing counterfire.24 Marine Corps Gazette articles appearing in 1952 and 1953, strongly supported the rocket launcher as a viable component of Marine supporting arms. Positive comments concerning the rocket's ability to surprise the enemy with concentrated mass fires on area targets and "reinforcing direct-support artillery in preparation fires," all highlighted the obvious advantages of rocket launchers.25 One author, Lieutenant Colonel Wade, however, attempted to couch his criticisms of the rockets disadvantages in constructive Click here to view image recommendations. He was unsure why the Marine Corps after witnessing the success of the "jeep-mounted" launchers in World War II decided to acquire only the towed systems. His indictment of towed rocket launchers talked to the problems of "manhandling, low ground clearance, soil blast erosion, unreliable . . . electro ignition, (and a ) larger crew."26 He also recommended adapting an LVT platform for the launcher's more effective use in an amphibious role. In January 1955, the Battery was relieved of its mission in Korea (GS of 1stMarDiv) and departed from Inchon for Okinawa. In February they were attached to the 12th Marine Regiment of the 3rd Marine Division located at Camp McNair, Okinawa, Japan. After Korea, The Marine Corps briefly explored replacing the T66E2/E4 rocket launcher, now designated the M21. In 1955, an evaluation performed on the T129 by the Marine Corps Development Center, formerly the Equipment Board, was based on a request from Headquarters Marine Corps that stated, "Although the Marine Corps does not have a requirement for the T129 (6.5-inch) Multiple Rocket launcher, a requirement still exists for an area saturation-type weapon." Tests on the T129, a longer range (13,790 yd), more accurate system which also needed a larger crew, were concluded and the evaluators felt then that the new rocket launcher did, in fact, fill the requirement.27 The following year in November, after the Army had moved away from the 6.5-inch rocket launcher, the Marine Corps decided against the T129 replacing the 4.5-inch system, ostensibly because the trade-off of increased weight for increased range was not satisfactory "from a logistical standpoint."28 This was evidently the death knoll for the Marine Corps multiple rocket launcher. By the early l960 's, the artillery rocket could only be looked upon in retrospect. As Marine Corps history books close on the "Buck Rogers' men", there are two more brief encounters with artillery rockets hardly worth mentioning. In the second half of the 1960's, the Marine Corps had a quick affair with the long-range artiilery rocket, the Honest John, a singly-launched weapon that could be fired with either a nuclear or conventional warhead. A Heavy Artillery Rocket Battery was first formed at Camp Lejeune as part of what was then called the Field Artillery Group (FAG). Although some thinking saw the new system as replacing the 8-inch howitzer, the mission for the rocket did not seem to "fit" the Marine Corps need. It left the inventory almost as quickly as it came. The only remaining anecdote has to do with Viet Nam, where Marines occasionally found themselves again on the receiving end of artillery rocket barrages. The Viet Cong were known to use 122 and 140mm rockets adapted from Soviet Rocket launchers. These primitive systems were just four-foot pipes mounted to five-foot pieces of plywood but were employed effectively against American units and South Vietnamese civilians. They were laid on the ground in the general direction of the enemy. If the plywood Click here to view image was not available, the rockets were set on mounds of earth again with the estimated location of thle opposing forces dictating their positioning. Although they were not in themselves very effective in terms of accurately inflicting physical damage, they did contribute to both the destructive and psychological effect when combined with the standard artillery barrage.29 So ends, on a somewhat unfortunate note, the historical trail of Marine Corps artillery rockets. It is readily apparent throughout the previous discussion that there have been common themes attendant to the advantages, disadvantages and problems of rocket artillery, regardless of who was using it on the battlefield. For the past seven hundred and fifty years, artillery rockets have consistently demonstrated: - A flash and noise signature which attracts counterfire. - A shorter range and poorer accuracy than cannons - A less expensive manufacturing process than cannons and guns - An ammunition resupply/logistics problem - A dramatic psychological effect on the enemy, often not matched by accompanying physical damage These characteristics have historically marked thee artillery rocket as we have seen. They remained valid through the 1960's. They had to be addressed in order for the rocket to progress in its technological development. If not, artillery rockets would once again begin fading into antiquity. Chapter 5 THE STATE OF THE ART Although the trail of the multiple rocket launcher almost went cold on the United States Marine Corps, there was sufficient scent left for proponents of artillery rockets to re-group and once again renew their quest for acceptance. As with most major system acquisitions, the Marine Corps interest in the current "state-of-the-art" ground rocket systems is inextricably intertwined with the procurement process of the U.S. Army. However, before any intelligent discussion of current technology can be accomplished, a review of the modern battlefield and the "threat" is necessary. Today's Battlefield Assessing the likelihood that the Marine Corps will fight in a particular scenario and on a particular battlefield may be somewhat presumptuous, but it is necessary. Considering the mission of the Corps and the potential "planned" involvements of a Marine Amphibious Brigade (MAB) or Force (MAF) throughout the world, five possible areas of concern become readily apparent. There are: - Central America - Northern Africa - Middle East - Korea - Northern/Southern NATO Flanks Regardless of the intensity level (low, medium, or high), the terrain will remain constant. There is clearly in these five regions the full range from jungles to desert plains to mountainous relief with an equally wide scale of climates. The Marine of the next quarter century, as has his predecessors, can count on fighting anywhere "the President may direct". To paraphrase an old maxim, the one thing that is certain is that there is no certainty as to where the Corps will be required to fight. Having stated the obvious, it also becomes apparent that the modern battlefield can be characterized by the high degree of technological advances which have increased the violence and lethality level of combat. As a result of the proliferation of foreign arms sales throughout the Third World, Marine forces can expect to encounter an enemy comparably equipped. As the stakes are raised in some remote corner of the globe, potential foes will enjoy priority support from the Soviet Union, her surrogates, or other states with interests contrary to ours. Opposing forces will possess mechanized manuever units, supporting arms, both ground and air, and command and control capabilities very similar to those found in the Warsaw Pact forces. Countries such as Syria, Cuba, and Nicaragua present very meaningful models. Nations much smaller than our own have fielded fighting forces as large or larger than the United States. Viet Nam, for example, maintains the fourth largest land army in the world. In addition to the quality of their technology and the quantity of their men and materiel, many of our future adversaries are demonstrating organizational training and discipline far advanced from that of twenty years ago. No longer can Marine field commanders expect to enter the field of combat with stale ideas and concepts, predictable tactics, and plans to fight attrition warfare. The modern battlefield demands a high degree of flexibility on the part of the conventional military force. Destroying the enemy's will to fight and upsetting his "center of gravity" are as important as physically destroying his forces. The challenges facing the Marine Corps in the near future indicate that preparing to fight poorly-equipped and poorly-trained insurgents in some underdeveloped country may be a plan for disaster. The Threat As Marines land opposed or unopposed across the beaches of the modern battlefield, the Soviet-type forces they can expect to fight against present a formidable foe. The side that survives the first battles and can maintain its momentum will control the outcome. Survivability in today's "high tech" combat, like NBC defense, is a concept often given little attention by many military forces, particularly the Marine Corps. These concepts by their nature subscribe at least a degree of superior capability to the enemy. Something that is not routinely done by American military professionals. Nevertheless, "survivability" means fighting and winning on the modern battlefield, and being around to enjoy it. Do we train to survive, or do we expect our Marine instincts and ingrained fighting spirit to overcome all obstacles ? Today's Soviet-styled forces demonstrate the ability to mass large amounts of mechanized/armored units to overwhelm their opponents. They have artillery that is employed in huge concentrations and rocket forces used in conjunction with proficient radio direction finding units whose expressed intent is to 'obliterate" enemy supporting arms and command and control. Confronted with tactical rocket ranges from 40km (BM-27) to 60+km (FROG/SCUD), Marine units will experience the enemy long before they can fight or even see him. Additionally, anti-air weapons spanning the scope from hand- held rockets to the highly mobile ZSU systems remain a serious threat to Marine Corps helicopters and close air support aircraft. All of these systems have appeared repeatedly outside the Warswaw Pact countries. There is little doubt that Soviet tactics will also accompany their technology. Yet, to complete the analysis of the Threat, we must not neglect the fact that potential adversaries may also be equipped with U.S.-made weapons, with those from other major industrial nations, or with a combination of technologies, such as Iran. Developing a Combat-Multiplier In the early 1970's, the United States Army began studying the feasibility of acquiring an artillery rocket system. The Task Force BATTLEKING Study of 1974 - 1975 established for the Army the requirement for a rocket system which was later translated into a more specific "need" by a Special Study Group at the U.S. Army Field Artillery School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma. After clearly defining and developing the concept of an artillery rocket system, the Army officially received approval to start the Mutiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) Program from the Secretary of Defense in 1977. Contracts for competitive bids were awarded to both Boeing and Vought Corporations in late 1977. Each contractor eventually proposed three alternative prototypes. Vought won the initial production contract during 1980 which ran over five years with expected renewal. In 1981, the U.S. Army procured their first operational MLRS.1 During the conceptual stage, the Army stated a "need for a capability to deliver a large volume of fire in a very short time against critical, time-sensitive targets such as expected during surge conditions in Europe."2 A Memorandum of understanding (MOU) was also signed that established a cooperative development effort with several of our major allies in Europe, specifically France, West Germany, and the United Kingdom. Italy also joined the program in 1982. This conjunctive effort was apparently meant to avoid duplication of work on the universally accepted idea of a field artillery multiple rocket launcher and provide an additional monetary incentive for the contractors during the source selection process. Initial program funding allowed the Army to plan on acguiring 276 Multiple Launch Rocket Systems with a final procurement objective of 681. The Army was clearly using a Eurpoean scenario as it developed the concept of employment (COE) for the MLRS. The primary combat mission for the MLRS with its rocket, the M77 Dual Puprpose improved Conventional Munitions (DPICM), was counterfire, i.e. attacking enemy supporting arms, and suppression of enemy air defense (SEAD) systems. There were also projected capabilities that saw excellent results against light materiel and personnel as well as a potential capability for scatterable mines, chemical munitions and terminally guided projectiles.3 U.S. Army plans called for MLRS battalions of three batteries each, with a total of 27 launchers. The battalion would be assigned to a corps with an additional 9-launcher battery organic to the Divisional Artillery (DivArty), the equivalent of the Marine Corps' artillery regiment. This division MLRS battery would be a part of a composite 8"/MLRS battalion. The mission of the MLRS was based on the need for a system that would: - Suppress enemy indirect fire and air defense (counterfire and SEAD) - Provide quick response saturation fire - Bridge the conventional/nuclear gap - Close the artillery firepower ratio By placing the battalion under the direct control of the corps commander, and the battery under the division commander, a more flexible, responsive weapon system was provided that allowed those commanders to influence the outcome of the battle. In almost any possible circumstance, the Army did not see the MLRS in a "direct support" role. It was procured as a general support weapon system that would be used across the entire front of divisions and corps. On the tactical level, each MLRS battery would operate in three platoons of three launchers each under the direct control of the battery headquarters. Platoons work from hide areas, reload points and firing points located 5 to 15 kilometers from the Forward Edge of Battle Area (FEBA). Each platoon would be dispersed over approximately 3000 meters. Fire missions would be passed from the battery or battalion directly to the launcher. The Army concept includes treating the MLRS platoon as a battery, the MLRS battery as a normal artillery battalion, and the battalion as the equivalent of a DivArty or artillery brigade for both positioning and tactical mission assignment.4 The Army currently has one MLRS battalion fielded in the continental United States and two in Germany, with eight composite (8"/MLRS) battalions divided between the two countries. Despite original plans to use the MLRS (Figure 5-1) as a replacement for the obsolete 175mm guns, the Army now sees the system as also replacing the aging 8" (M110) howitzer. Their Legal Mix VI Study recommended trading the 8-inch for the MLRS in order "to take advantage of the rocket system's 300 percent increase in relative battalion-level firepower".5 Click here to view image System Characteristics Having briefly examined concepts of operational employment and mission analysis, a thorough understanding of the system's specifications and capabilities is essential. According to a draft of the MLRS field manual, the Army describes the Multiple Launch Rocket System as "a non-nuclear surface to surface, fully tracked, highly mobile, rapid-fire, free-flight rocket system".6 its official designation is the M270 Armored Vehicle Mounted Rocket Launcher (AVMRL). The MLRS consists of five major system components - the Self-Propelled Launcher Loader (SPLL), the Launch Pod/Containers (LP/C), the ammunition resupply vehicles, and a command, control and communications (C3) system. The SPLL (Figure 5-2) is lightly armored with aluminum plate providing the crew protection against shell fragmentation. The cab is also equipped with an NBC gas particulate filter unit to which soldiers or Marines in the crew connect their individual protective masks. The high mobility of the MLRS derives from its capability to move over hard surfaces up to almost 40 miles per hour to a range of 300 miles. Its firing range of 32 kilometers exceeds all present cannon systems and future technological dvelopments are expected to increase that range to over 100 kilometers. S-4's and embarkation officers would appreciate the fact that the MLRS takes less square and cubed footage than the M109, M110, M1A1, M60A2; in fact, there is a 40% savings in square feet per weapon over the two self-propelled howitzers. Click here to view image A simple system-versus-system analysis demonstrates the significance of the MLRS in several areas, particularly in raw firepower, personnel, and embarkation. To summarize Figure 5-3 below, the MLRS will provide the user with a massive increase in "steel on target" with a major reduction in force structure and commensurate reduction in shipboard space requirements for both personnel and equipment. Click here to view image A few quick mathematical calculations using the information listed above points out that one "ripple" (12 rockets) from a single MLRS is the equivalent of one volley from 2.4 M110 battalions (18 guns) or 4.8 M109 battalions (18 guns)! Firepower aside, the Army considers the MLRS " currently the most manpower efficient system in the Field Artillery inventory".7 It should be objectively pointed out at this juncture that a recent seminar given by the author raised the issue that this comparison was only "weapon against weapon" and did not take the remaining organizational equipment square footage or the ammunition storage requirements into account. However, studies conducted at Headquarters Marine Corps (LMW) show conclusively that when combined with the Logistics Vehicle System the MLRS will generate a significant across-the-board savings in embarkation weight and square footage. The ammunition storage differential is difficult to compute when the systems are not comparable. A simple analysis done by the author showed that, based on packaging data per submunition, there appears to be a negligible difference in cubic footage in favor of the cannon ordnance and a similarly minor difference in weight in favor of the MLRS. Figure 5-5 is provided below to illustrate the potential reductions in manpower that would accompany acquisition of the rocket launcher by the Marine Corps.8 Click here to view image In any of the considered options where the current 4th battalion of the artillery regiments converts to M109 self- propelled howitzers and the 5th battalion is either an all MLRS or a composite battalion, there is a reduction in enlisted structure of between 403 to 486 for each reqiment, or three times that for the entire Marine Corps. This is accomplished by saving 29 Marines if the M198's are replaced by the M109's and saving between 374 to 457 by re-configuring the current 5th battalion structure. The most interesting of the potential improvements to the system is the development of the Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) with the Terminally Guided Warhead (TGW) currently being worked on jointly among the NATO forces. The rocket is fired from the MLRS to an enhanced range well beyond 100 kilometers where the submunitions are dispensed. The Tactically Guided Submunitions (TGSM) possess an infra-red search capability over 3000 square kilometers. The submunition is a shaped-charge capable of mobility-kills against all armored vehicles. This ordnance expected in the field in the 1990's will allow allied forces to conduct deep attacks on enemy armor columns and long- range tactical missiles.9 The MLRS and the Marine Corps Most Marine Corps artillery weapon systems acquisitions have routinely followed the lead of the U.S. Army procurement process due to the inability of the Corps to mount any extensive, costly research and development program on its own. There have been exceptions in other, usually Marine Corps-unique, areas (i.e. LVT, LAV, AV-8, JVX) but the artillery has not had the opportunity or requirement to do so. With this in mind, the paths of the Marine Corps and the MLRS have alternately converged and diverged. The Army's commitment to the MLRS in 1977 most probably marks the initial attention if not interest in the system by the Marines. However, there is no documented evidence of any specific involvement by the Corps with the future M270 until 1980. The Marine Corps Force Structure Study, 1980 which was prepared by the Development and Education Command (MCDEC) but was never officially approved, highlighted specific problems with Marine general support artillery, in particular the aging of the 8-inch M110 howitzer. Among the recommended options to resolve the apparent inadequacy was the proposal to field three 9- launcher MLRS batteries in a composite battalion of the artillery regiment. The Study reasoned that it was needed as much for eliminating the "lack" of sufficient general support assets as it was to counter any specific Soviet threat.10 Some of MCDEC's impressions of the capabilities of the MLRS undoubtedly came from a presentation by the Vought Corporation in April 1980. A dialogue with the contractor was established and the idea of a multiple rocket launcher, if not actually the MLRS, was spawned. In response to stated requirements for an MLRS in the Marine Corps Long Range Objectives Plan and Mid-Range Objective Plan in 1981, Vought made an unsolicited proposal to conduct an indirect fire weapons study for the Marine Corps. In that proposal, several variants supposedly studied at the request of the Commandant of the Marine Corps earlier in the year were addressed as feasible for production, among them a six-rocket launcher mounted on an LVTP7. Although the study does not appear to have been done by Vought, there was a later classified one comparing the advantages and disadvantages of several systems from different sources. In 1982, the Marine Corps entered a brief period of misguided interest in what was called the Field Artillery Rocket System or FARS. FARS was a lightweight, helicopter transportable, mutiple rocket launcher with a range of 14 - 18 kilometers. Obviously, this system would not meet the requirements for general support augmentation, but it did possess potential as a highly mobile, short range, saturation weapon which the Corps did not need.11 The system was based on the 5- inch Navy Zuni rocket and was being studied by the U.S. Army. When the Army backed quickly away from the project and Marine planners began questioning the utility of FARS relative to the new M198 155mm howitzer, the concept was dropped.12 This short visit with the FARS resulted in a return to the MLRS again as a potential answer to Marine Corps general support artillery requirements. The Mariner Corps Long Range (1990 - 2000) Armor, Anti-Armor, Fire Support and Ground Mobility Requirements and Program Study, 1983 specifically recommended for the first time that the MLRS be procured as a replacement weapon system for the aging 8-inch howitzer. But the Commandant directed that the Marine Corps would only continue to monitor the Army's program and no acquisition decision was made.13 Over the next three years, several energetic attempts were made to include the MLRS in the Program Objective Memorandum (POM), which forms the basis for the Marine Corps' budget submission. Each initiative realized something short of success with the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) date slipping steadily towards the mid-1990's. The most evident obstacle appears to have been the fiscal constraints imposed on an expensive weapon system ($1.9 million per weapon/ $2 billion total procurement) by other, higher priority systems, i.e. Sincgars, M1A1.14 Despite the vacillation with MLRS, Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC) artillery planners continued to study the general support concerns throughout this period. A study was initiated through the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA) with the focus on whether or not the Corps should continue to pursue the MLRS or some other option. The Study was expanded by HQMC to include all artillery systems both direct and general support. CNA reviewed as many as 70 different mixes of artillery for the Marine Corps, including the ongoing issue of what to do with the M101A1 105mm howitzer. Each of their recommended options contained the MLRS.15 In September 1986, the Commandant decided to stay with the Marine Corps commitment to the M198 and to maintain an active role with the 105mm howitzer for special operations and contingencies as well. Any decisions regarding the MLRS were delayed until some future date. Headquarters Marine Corps as well as CNA have terminated evaluations of the MLRS or any other system and there are currently no future plans for any new artillery weapon acquisitions.16 In the words of one action officer at HQMC, "The MLRS is definitely not a hot item right now." The realities and political issues involved with acquiring a weapon system that would cost the Marine Corps approximately $2 billion constitute a maze that must be successfully negotiated before the MLRS could conceivably be fielded. One such issue is the 13-man squad which originally was to be "funded" in the Marine Corps' force structure by the almost 1500-man personnel savings that were to accrue from acquiring the MLRS. The 13-man squad is a reality, but the tradeoffs or "compensatory reductions" mandated by the much-needed ceiling on the Marine Corps personnel structure are still being evaluated. Another fact of life is the perspective held by many principal decision makers in the Corps that the artillery is not really in that bad a shape in relative terms to the condition of Marine Corps armor (M1A1) and communications (Sincgars) which need more critical modernization. The "pro's and con's" of procuring an all new, state-of-the-art tank for the Marine Corps and the prolonged, and much maligned, acquisition of the new radio system might be subjects of another research effort. However, it remains that the commitment was made some time ago on these items and it seems unlikely that the Corps will deviate from its present course. Among the remaining detractors, an almost insurmountable, albeit time-sensitive, hurdle would be the Secretary of the Navy's supposed opposition to the Marine Corps' procurement of an MLRS. With the changing of the guard at SecNav, this suddenly may not seem as critical a problem. Each of these obstacles as well as several minor ones are inter- related factors whose synergistic effect might tend to leave the proponents for the MLRS somewhat pessimistic. Input from the Field Although it is often hard to separate the realities of funding or lack thereof from the practicalities of combat, an attempt was made to elicit the opinions, concerns and ideas of the current field commanders around the Marine Corps concerning the MLRS. A very basic survey contained in Appendix C was conducted of all the infantry and artillery commanders at both the battalion and regimental level in each of the three Marine divisions. The focus of the survey centered around the requirement, the mission and roles, and the concerns Marine field commanders envisioned with a Marine MLRS. Fifty surveys were mailed out and thirty-three, or 66%, were returned in time for inclusion here. The survey provides some interesting insight into the present thinking "in the field". In many cases, the responses to the five main questions were almost as varied as the respondents. There were, however, some trends. A summation of the majority opinion and an exposition of certain discerning, but minority ideas and suggestions are presented here. A more detailed analysis of the viability of the MLRS relative to its application to the Marine Corps is contained in the next chapter. The first question asked the field commander to envision the threat and provide his opinion on the need for an MLRS and the role or mission it might be employed in. A consensus developed very quickly. Consistent with the U.S. Army's current use of the MLRS, Marine field commanders generally agree that the rocket system should be employed in a general support mission and used in long-range interdiction and SEAD roles. Counterfire and counterprep missions were also mentioned regularly. Some commanding officers stated the same thing in a different form, writing of "fighting the deep battle" and "gaining standoff". One particular respondent suggested an "at-sea platform" or a naval gunfire role which will be discussed later. There was a common acceptance of the system with only three of thirty-three who seemed outrightly opposed to acquiring the MLRS because they did not see it fitting the Marine Corps needs. The other thirty surveyed officers demonstrated attitudes ranging from unbridled enthusiasm (both infantry and artillery) to cautious optimism. Some of the more interesting comments were: - " Without question the Marine Corps needs MLRS !" - " We are outgunned even in the third world." - " unthinkable for Marine artillery to be left in the dark ages." - " 'almost perfect' for our classic amphibious mission." - " we need to get away from labor-intensive systems (like the M198 155mm howitzer)." - " Threat capabilities and tactics make the MLRS a necessity." - " If we try to 'heavy up' to go one-on-one with the WP (Warsaw Pact) MRD's (motorized rifle divisions), then we are in competition with the Army. Do we need (it) . . . ?" - " The (Nato-related) need . . . in other theaters is less urgent." - ". . . limited value in current operational (MAU/MAB) contingencies." The second question addressed the employment of the MLRS. The major trend indicated that should the Marine Corps acquire the multiple rocket launcher it should probably field a battalion, possibly a battery, within the artillery regiment. Other suggestions included placing a single MLRS battery in a composite battalion with the 8-inch howitzer batteries, which the Army presently does, and moving the M109 self-propelled (SP) howitzer batteries to the 4th battalion of the artillery regiment which is now constitued with M198's. One proposal saw the 8-inch being phased out and an entire 4th battalion of MLRS with a 5th battalion of four M109 batteries. Only one Marine field grade commander stated that, "a single MLRS battalion should be fielded with the division most likely to be committed to Europe (only)," however, general agreement emerged that no separate battalion should be formed; also, by putting the MLRS in battery or battalion strength under the artillery regiment would allow for a pooling of maintenance and support personnel and expertise. On being asked what their main concerns were, the commanders' primary issues fell easily into three categories: - Strategic lift - Logistics supportability - Training In the strategic lift or transportability area, some had concerns about the amphibious "footprint" and what shipboard trade-offs might be necessary for both traditional amphibious lifts and the MPF. Constraints on shipboard ammunition lift capabilities were included in several related responses. The ammunition question spilled over into the logistics supportability concern. The number of vehicles that would make up the logistics train for an MLRS battery/battalion was raised as a potential difficulty. There were also some misgivings about the ability to maintain the system. In the words of one Marine: Because MLRS is constructed from suspension and power- train components common to the M2 infantry Fighting Vehicle . . . The Army has the logistical and maint- enance base to support the system when fielded. The Marine Corps has no such base to rely upon. Some of the other issues surfaced involved manning, survivability, costs, local security, mobility in marginal terrain and a small, technical MOS (military occupational specialty) requirement. One commander pondered "how to convince old-timers that the system is not too heavy for mobility." When it came to selecting a weapon system to replace with the MLRS, most selected the 8-inch howitzer although some astutely commented on the need for developing a nuclear capable warhead for the MLRS first. A surprising number did not see it as a "replacement" system, but rather as one that would complement current artillery structure. The remaining ideas ran the gamut from the old M114 (l55mm) to the M198 and the M109. Two infantry commanders deferred to the usons of Saint Barbara." As far as what visionary ideas Marine combat arms commanders had about how to use the personnel saved with the much-reduced weapon crew, there were distinct trends. An unusually large number were not convinced that a savings would occur. This seemed to stem from perceived additional requirements for maintenance and support personnel. The others typically followed parochial MOS-related needs to flesh out tables of organization in their respective units (artillery and infantry). There were, however, some objective infantry officers who saw reconnaissance and engineers as being "understuffed and overtasked" and some local security needs for the artillery. One commander stated a need to fill PC (personal computer) jobs at the battalion/regimental level. Finally, two artillery commanders realized the increased maintenance requirements of the recent CMC decision to keep sixteen M101A1 105mm howitzers in each direct support battalion for contingency purposes. The last survey question essentially solicited any additional ideas or suggestions the field might have concerning the MLRS. These did not divide easily into any specific topic area. The most significant ones were: - Await the Army's learning experience - Consider other prime movers and helicopter transport - Scatterable mine employment - Reinforcing of direct support battalions - Ensure concept of employment, tactics and support requirements are worked out before fielding - Naval gunfire role was again identified Although most of their concerns have already been addressed by HQMC planners, there remain certain valid questions that must be answered before any serious consideration of the MLRS is given. As idealistically stated by one artillery battalion commander, Although expensive, it will make itself cost effective in combat and we need to consider our combat needs (rather) than worrying or wondering how expensive it will be to field." Chapter 6 A MARINE MLRS: IS IT NEEDED ? During the mid-1970's, the British perceived a requirement for a multiple rocket launcher as part of a process to modernize their forces. The system, the RS80, entered development during a period of national fiscal constraint similar to the current American Gramm-Rudman era. The weapon's progress toward fielding was terminated due to what was considered a lack of cost- effectiveness. As they saw it, "the problem centered around the optimisation of the warhead against a given category of targe".1 This meant that there was not an adequate or clear definition of the system's mission or its role in combat. This confusion combined with concerns about its logistical supportability and the budgetary considerations prevented the concept from moving forward. Ideas have changed in Great Britain where today there is wholehearted involvement in the development of the MLRS. They view the MLRS in a more precise manner: It is felt that such a system would fill the current gap in our capability to lay down a large weight of effective fire by day or night, in a short space of time on massed armored formations deploying to assault our main defensive positions, re-grouping in concen- tration areas, or which are moving through well-defined choke points. This apparent recognition of the potential contribution of rockets to the battle also stems from another realization that, "It does appear that gun design has reached its limit . . . What is at stake is not so much whether we need guns or rockets, but rather what proportion of each we should have in our order of battle".2 Similar to the British, the United States Marine Corps' major system acquisition process involves the establishment of a clear, well-defined requirement for the weapon before it can enter the Planning, Programming, and Budget System (PPBS). Once it clears that hurdle and a concept of employment and acquisition strategy are developed, the weapon then enters the programming phase as a POM (Program Objective Memorandum) initiative. POM initiatives are prioritized based on a benefit analysis by the Program Evaluation Group (PEG) which leads to a finalized cost- benefit distribution by the POM Working Group. Depending on its position on the priority listing, the weapon may or may not move into the budgeting phase where the hardware procurement process begins in earnest.3 The Multiple Launch Rocket System has been a Marine Corps POM initiative at least twice to this point, but has yet to demonstrate sufficient cost-benefit positioning necessary for continuation of its acquisition. What then is the future of the MLRS as a Marine weapon system ? It is now necessary to re- examine the MLRS in both technical and tactical terms. Re-defining the Requirement A "re-definition" may not be the most exact term. However, the operational requirement for the MLRS must be carefully reviewed and restated. As the British have accepted, cannon artillery has clearly reached a plateau in its technological advance. This is evident in the efforts to modernize the M109 and towed howitzers. Changes to recoil mechanisms or re- configuring carriages are not achieving any quantum improvements in capability. Most enhancements have to do with the digitizing gun data reception, the locating of the weapon on the ground (survey), or extension of the range or lethality of ordnance. From a Marine Corps perspective, there are several clear requirements for an MLRS or MLRS-type weapon. In response to the threat of Warsaw Pact armor, supporting arms and air defense systems, the Marine Amphibious Force (MAF) and Brigade (MAB) must be capable of isolating the force beachhead (FBH) or the main battle area. In addition, the presence of massed mechanized formations, massed artillery, and rocket delivery systems must be aggressively attacked as far from the forward edge of the battle area (FEBA) as possible. The new BM-27 which is described in detail in Appendix D will out-range all current Marine ground weapons long before it can be engaged. The ZSU will combine with other surface-to-air weapons to shroud approaching forces from Marine close air support while endangering both Marine fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. Therefore, delineating specific operational requirements should become apparent. The Marine Corps is required to: 1) Provide long range ( > 15km) interdiction, SEAD and counterfire support to manuever forces. 2) Develop smaller, lighter weight, less labor- intensive weapon systems with equal or greater lethality and mobility. 3) Continue to modernize its forces with technological advances, and specifically plan the replacement of the M110 8-inch howitzer. The MLRS can and will meet each of these requirements. The questions remaining for the Corps are: How important are these requirements ? How soon must they be met ? How much cost is involved and at the expense of what other system procurements ? Before answering these concerns, an analysis of other programming criteria is necessary. Concept of Employment Various Marine Corps studies, and even a draft Concept of Employment, have outlined the more obvious missions and roles for a Marine MLRS. Based on the concepts used by the Army, there has never been any serious consideration of using the MLRS in a direct support mission. This type of employment, although appealing to some battalion commanders, would seriously degrade the weapon's capability and might equate to using a heavy transport helicopter, CH-53E, for ground reconnaissance or command and control, or using an infantry battalion for rear area security. Clearly, the MLRS would be employed in general support missions to allow the force commander the maximum ability to influence the battle. The roles of long-range interdiction, SEAD and counterfire are appropriate means to exert this influence so as to isolate the battle area and permit maneuver units to engage opposing forces without distraction. Reinforcing and general support-reinforcing missions might be considered based on the tactical situation. However, there will be a compensatory reduction in firepower multiplication at the centralized force level, MAF or MAB. Input from field commanders, as well as most conceptual work done to date by the Marine Corps, indicates that fielding the MLRS as either a battalion or battery within the current artillery regiment's structure is the only real option. Logistical considerations preempt any ideas to create another separate battalion. Again, looking to the Army example, their fire support studies settled on an MLRS battalion at the Corps- level only with a battery organic to the division's artillery. Considering the frontages that the MLRS is equipped to work over, a nine-launcher battery would be adequate to a MAF's needs with one or two 3-launcher platoons task organized at the MAB-level, and attached to the direct support or reinforcing artillery battalion when appropriate. There is no doubt that both the M198 and the M109 will be essential to the Marine Corps inventory well into the twenty- first century. Therefore, the MLRS must be placed in the fifth battalion of the artillery regiment which would accomplish two objectives: 1) allow the M109's to replace the M198's in the fourth battalion which, in turn, will permit the final retirement of the M114; 2) position the MLRS to eventually replace the M110 8-inch howitzer as special weapon capabilities are developed. A proposed Table of Organization for Marine rocket battery is included in Appendix G. The revised artillery regiment's structure during the transition period with the 8-inch howitzer would then look as follows: - 3 direct support battalions (24 M198/M101A1) - 1 general support battalion (18 M109's) - 1 general support battalion (9 MLRS/12 M110) This would be the "cleanest" structure where the fifth battalion would conceivably receive additional MLRS (9 - 18) as the M110 enters obsolesence. All indications from the Army are that as the 8-inch howitzer reaches the end of its service life there will be no effort to extend it or product-improve the system. The Army is apparently moving in the direction of replacing all its M110's with MLRS. At this point, it is important to understand how the Marine Corps might employ the rocket battalion and battery in combat. The battalion would consist of a Headquarters Battery and three rocket batteries. The Headquarters unit would be similarly staffed as the fourth and fifth battalions of the artillery regiment presently are. The normal staff functions would be incorporated into the S-1, S-2, S-3 and S-4 sections. The battalion would be assigned missions of general support, general support-reinforcing, or reinforcing across the Division/MAF front. If a battery or a platoon was attached to a deploying MAB/MAU, the same missions would be appropriate. However, command and control relationships would be worked out in detail with the landing force (senior) artillery commander. As previously stated, the emphasis on the "general support" mission is paramount to allow the Commander, Landing Force (CLF) the ability to influence the battle ashore and isolate the force beachhead. The battalion would land across a pre-designated beach in an on-call wave consistent with the scheme of maneuver. Pre-boating the MLRS in LCU's or LCAC's might provide for more timely movement ashore of landing force fire support assets which has traditionally been a problem in amphibious operations. Once ashore, the battalion would act quickly to ensure that all firing batteries and platoons were in a "HOT", or ready-to- fire, status. Logistically, the platoons would require unit distribution of both ammunition and other classes of supplies to maximize their on-line time. The battalion would provide all position zones and tactical fire planning information for the MLRS batteries. While technical fire control is accomplished at the platoon level, the battalion Fire Direction Center (FDC) would forward fire missions directly to the platoon, monitored by the battery FDC. Survey control points and meteorological messages would be passed to the batteries from the battalion. Finally, the MLRS would be fully integrated into the Marine Integrated Fire and Air Support System, MIFASS, and employed in close coordination with the new Q-36 Firefinder, counter- mortar/battery, radar and the Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) for battlefield surveillance and target acquisition. The Marine Corps envisions a slightly different battery structure than the Army. Where the Army has a headquarters platoon, a survey section, an ammunition platoon, and three firing platoons, the Marines would incorporate the survey and ammunition functions into a single headquarters platoon. There is consensus between the services that three launchers is the best size for the firing platoons. The battery commander's responsibility for keeping abreast of the tactical situation of his supported unit becomes more critical in an MLRS battery due to the extent of the support it provides. Tactical control of the firing platoons resides in the battery commander with technical control passed to the platoon level (each platoon has its own FDC). Ammunition supply points and platoon position areas, or "goose eggs", will be selected by the battery commanding officer. The platoon leader, a first or second lieutenant, will establish his own firing points and hide areas. Movement while in contact with the enemy will always be done by echelon at all levels to ensure continuous fire support for the maneuver unit. System Value Assessment New systems are procured by the Marine Corps only after they meet certain cost-benefit criteria which places them in a "buyable" position on the prioritization list for budget submission. The concept of "benefit" is in fact a relative one that essentially focuses on the impact that programming or not programming a new system would have on the Corps. To adequately flesh out a system value assessment of the MLRS, the following issues impacting on the Marine Corps will be discussed: - Military effectiveness - Breadth of application - Technical risk - Current vs. new capabilities - Readiness vs. modernization To discuss the military effectiveness issue in light of the operational requirements and concept of employment for the MLRS is basically a further assessment of its warfighting capability. It would also be easier to compare different artillery weapons if a method were developed to quantify the quality of fire support available from individual systems. While that might be the topic of some future paper, the intent here is somewhat more subjective yet still valid. The M270, MLRS, has already been shown to provide many times the firepower of any one howitzer or even howitzer battery. It can place more sheer weight of "steel on target" than the 105mm, 155mm or 8-inch weapons. Most munitions effects table will bear out the theory that unless an artillery barrage is a surprise, its effect on the target is greatly reduced. There is also clear evidence that after the initial surprise, the effect almost exponentially decreases as enemy forces seek cover and protection from the attack. With this in mind, there is not a single conventional weapon system, air or ground, that is capable of the destructive effect of the MLRS in terms of instantaneous lethality over an area the size of six football fields. There is a definite improvement in transportability over the M110 with the MLRS' compatibility with the C141 and its troop and deck space savings on board amphibious shipping. It has a somewhat limited ability to move through the surf (40 inch fording capability) that would be enhanced by a platform modification or substitution. This is a critical issue that must be resolved with the contractor early in the acquisition cycle. Logistical considerations, some of which were highlighted by Marine field commanders, must be addressed. The U.S. Army M270 comes complete with its own Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck (HEMTT - M985) and Ammunition Trailer (HEMAT - M989), a two man system capable of transporting eight launch pods of 48 rockets which is four reloads. The Marine MLRS must include the LVS, MK48 Logistical Vehicle System, which would provide a greater on- and off-road payload capability than the Army's vehicles as well as better cross-country and cross-surf characteristics (see Appendix E ). While it is difficult to comparatively describe the military effectiveness aspect of "benefit", there is a logical thought process here that is worth mentioning. If, in its SEAD role, the MLRS is successful only once in its life cycle of preventing the loss of one F/A-18 or AV-8B, it will have achieved any cost/military effectiveness goals that the Corps might establish for it. While the same can be said for any supporting arm, however, none of the others can be expected to have the opportunities for success that the MLRS will have*. Breadth of application for any particular weapon system must be interpreted to include the additional utility of the technology and its subsystems as well as the weapon itself. The MLRS is engineered to be adaptable to several different platforms including the amphibious assault vehicle (LVTP), the new High Mobility Medium Vehicle 1 1/4-ton (HMMVW), the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier and naval gunfire ships. In the HMMVW and M113 versions as in its towed-carriage configuration, it has a reduced payload of three or six rockets, but gains in its mobility with the added transport options of the C130, CH-53E and, in some cases, the CH-46. Appendix F summarizes the various possibilities for MLRS configuration. The contractor proposed the LVT-based MLRS with a six rocket payload as early as 1981.4 But, apparently, it was never given * The MLRS is projected to cost approximately $2 million dollars per weapon system. serious consideration. Yet, this version, would enhance the firepower of the division while meeting most amphibious operational requirements. Additionally, the U.S. Navy has studied the possibilities of mounting the MLRS aboard ship to improve the sickly naval gunfire capabilities now existent in our 600-ship Navy. Like the cannon, the naval gun is not progressing further in its technological development. Shore bombardment in support of amphibious operations seems to have again fallen out of favor with the advent of "over-the-horizon" amphibious landings. The MLRS will without question bring naval gunfire into the next century by replacing the aging three- and five- inch systems presently employed. A recently approved Naval Surface Fire Support Study requested by Congress will allow the Navy- version of the MLRS, the Assault Ballistic Rocket System or ABRS, to be tested on several different platforms. The testing will be done from a reserve Landing Ship, Tank (LST), or an old destroyer hull. The futuristic view of naval gunfire is one of rockets and new 8-inch guns replacing the battleship's 16-inch turrets. There is a possibility of a return to the World War II "rocketship" concept. The LST, as it approaches the end of its planned service life, might serve as the new ABRS platform with the enhanced capabilities of ammunition storage and close-in fire support for the forces ashore.5 The various communications and fire direction/control subsystems used by the MLRS are already being considered for general use with the current cannon artillery systems. Their discussion here would constitute a moot point, yet their utility is already known and demonstrates the ease of integrating the MLRS with future fire support technology. All new weapons and equipment comes complete with its own degree of technical risk. In disagreement with some Headquarters Marine Corps planners, the MLRS is no exception. There are risks that a comparable nuclear capability will not develop for the system which will degrade its ability to adequately replace the M110. Revolutionary engineering ideas to "product-improve" the M110 might delay or preclude its obsolesence. There is also the possibility, albeit slight, that the current single-source production facility might experience financial difficulties and be forced to shut down. This is an inherent risk with any procurement and is not considered likely. Although the major new capabilities have been specified earlier, it is worthwhile to summarize their comparative value relative to existing systems. The Multiple Launch Rocket System has demonstrated progressive technology in certain areas that will enhance the full spectrum of artillery fire support over the next decade. The following advances are considered "new" to field artillery weapon systems: The MLRS has the on-board capability to: - receive digital fire missions without voice transmissions. - determine its own surveyed location. - compute its own technical firing data. - orient itself automatically for elevation and traverse on the target or targets. - fire 12 rockets on the same or 12 individual targets within 60 seconds. - conduct automated maintenance checks and notify the crew by status lights or fault messages on the fire control panel. Other impressive features include: - an automated self-loading capability. - the smallest weapon crew in artillery history. - only current fielded artillery piece that can communicate digitally (secure) with firefinder radar (Q36) or BCS. - both range and lethality multipliers far in excess of three times that of current artillery weapons. - "clean" ammunition storage and handling containers. In order to satisfy the concern of whether the acquisition of the MLRS would improve the Marine Corps' modernization status without equivalent effect on readiness, several of the system's capabilities and potential contributions clearly point to increased readiness. The weapon's ability to move quickly ashore to accurately located positions, to launch at twelve separate targets almost simultaneously, and to load in 40% less deck space aboard amphibious shipping relative to one 8-inch howitzer while providing the area saturation capability of several 8-inch battalions begs a rhetorical question. What do you think ? Chapter 7 THE FUTURE OF THE MARINE MLRS War rockets, despite being over 700 years old seem to be still in their infancy in terms of potential as a practical weapon of war. They have on occasion caused some to believe that they might supplant cannons as the artillery weapon of choice. This never did occur nor does it seem likely in the next quarter century. However, artillery rockets, and in particular, multiple rocket launchers, appear to have found in the MLRS a permanent role on the battlefield. Many of the long-argued disadvantages of war rockets compared to tube artillery have been corrected and, in some cases, improved beyond that of the howitzer. From a novelty of warfare in the 13th century to a serious venture in weapon engineering in the early 19th century to a universally accepted combat role during the Second World War, rocket artillery has followed a roller-coaster history often tottering between approbation and obsolesence. Whether or not this sinusoidal path will continue into the future is uncertain. The "state-of-the-art" is such that artillery rocket proponents might optimistically consider that they are now closer to permanent acceptance then they are to the other, more dismal end of the scale. As far as the Marine Corps is concerned, the picture is definitely not yet in focus. There seems to be from a practical, if not fiscal, perspective both at the field and Headquarters' levels, an acceptance of the inherent value of acquiring an MLRS for the Marine Corps. Yet, despite its utility, the weapon has not garnished the necessary support from certain key centers of influence within the organization. This support combined with an "easier to swallow" price tag are essential to fielding the MLRS in the Fleet Marine Force. Is it reasonable to expect that these issues will be resolved or mitigated ? Can Marine Corps artillery keep up with the United States Army and Soviet artillery as a viable supporting arm capable of providing the maneuver commander the necessary fire power where and when he needs it ? Will the opening scenario of this paper ever have a basis in reality ? The answer to each of these questions is unquestionably "yes". In the opinion of the author, if the Marine Corps were to become involved in a global crisis tomorrow or as Marines often say, "if the balloon goes up", the forward deployed MABs and MAFs would be augmented from Army sources with multiple rocket launchers, specifically the MLRS. The United States could not afford to do otherwise. However, in light of the growing fiscal restraints on military expenditures during the current "peacetime" era of national defense, they can afford to do otherwise, atleast for the time being. If one can accept the proposition that the United States Marine Corps needs to get back into the artillery rocket business soon, then there is an obvious requirement to minimize or ameliorate the system's detractors and "play" to its strengths as they apply to the Marine Corps. Implementing a new acquisition strategy of "getting a foot in the door", will not be accomplished by proposing an all-out procurement in excess of $1 billion dollars for more launchers per division than the Army plans to deploy. A more measured approach is mandated. With a focus on acquiring a battery of four to nine launchers per division, a feasibility study must be done either internally or under contract on the best-cost approach to fielding an MLRS or MLRS-based system. The LVT and HMMVW platforms for the smaller rocket package deserve a second look with the possibility of the contractor absorbing all real R&D costs up front and spreading those dollars over the length of the contract. By squeezing down the total weapon purchases from 27 to no more than 9 per division, the system life cycle costs will not be reduced by two-thirds. However, they might be cut in half while still allowing the Corps to begin building a base for the development of experience and doctrine in the use of multiple rocket launchers in amphibious/special operations. Because the Marine Corps acquired the M198 155mm howitzer, it does not necessarily follow that the entire supporting arm is now in "good shape". The M198 was essential to close-in fire support as a replacement for the aged M101A1 105mm howitzer and to close the gap with Soviet artillery and rockets. The entry of the new Russian BM-27 rocket launcher and the M110 nearing the end of its useful life require distinctly separate and different responses. To re-phrase the thoughts of our British counterparts, it is not a question of whether the Marine Corps needs cannon artillery or multiple rocket launchers, but rather in what proportion do we need them ? APPENDIX A CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS 1232 First recorded use of rockets in combat at Kai-fung-fu by Chinese 1429 French use war rockets in defense of Orleans 1772 William Congreve born in Middlesex, England 1806 Congreve rockets first fired at Boulogne against Napoleon's invasion fleet 1813 Rockets decisively employed at Battle of Liepsig 1814 First British Rocket Corps formed 1814 Royal Marines first to fire artillery rockets on American soil at U. S. Marines and militia at Battle of Bladensburg 1828 Russians first employ rockets during Russo- Turkish War 1846 William Hale designs improved war rocket 1846 First American rocket battery formed at Fort Monroe under Gen Winfield Scott. Disbanded 1848 1847 Marines first supported by artillery rockets at Chapultepec 1861 24th Independent Battery, New York Light Artillery equipped with rocket launchers. Launchers replaced with howizters after un- successful field firing tests 1862 Confederates fire artillery rockets under command of J.E.B. Stuart on Union forces at Harrison's Landing 1918 Robert H. Goddard begins work on new American war rockets 1941 Russians deploy first rocket battery of BM- 13's to western front 1941 Britain and U.S. exchange research data on rocket launchers APPENIX A 1942 German Nebelwerfer 41, multiple rocket launcher, employed at Russian front 1944 British "Land Mattress" rocket launcher used by Canadians at crossings of Rhine and Scheldt 1st Provisional Rocket Detachment activated by the U.S. Marine Corps (April) 1st Marine rockets fired in combat on Saipan 1st Army converts 105mm howitzer battalion into a T27 rocket battalion (Nov) 1950 1st Marine 4.5-inch Rocket Battalion activated at Camp Pendleton, CA Battery C, 1st 4.5-inch Rocket Battalion (later redesignated 1st 4.5-inch Rocket Bat- tery) fires in support of 1st Marine Division in Korea 1954 Modernization of entire line of Soviet multiple rocket launchers 1977 Introduction of Soviet BM-27 U.S. Army receives SecDef approval to start MLRS Program 1981 First MLRS, M270, fielded by U.S. Army Click here to view image APPENDIX C MULTIPLE LAUNCH R0CKET SYSTEM (MLRS) Field Commanders' Survey After reviewing the attached article, please answer the following questions: 1. Considering the threat, does the Marine Corps need a system such as the MLRS ? Why, or why not ? What mission do you feel is appropriate for the MLRS (close-in support, long-range interdiction, SEAD, etc.) ? 2. If the Marine Corps were to acquire the MLRS, how do you envision it should be employed (i.e. 1 battery per division, a separate battalion per division, a battery/battalion in the artillery regiment) ? Why ? 3. If the Marine Corps were to acquire the MLRS, what would be your main concerns about the weapon system ? APPENDIX C 4. If the MLRS were to replace an artillery weapon system currently in the inventory, which do you think it should replace (M198, M109, 8") ? 5. What suggestions do you have about what to do with the savings of personnel that might accrue if the MLRS were acquired ? (MLRS could save from 3 - 8 Marines per weapon over current artillery weapons) 6. Do you have any other ideas, concerns or suggestions for employment of the MLRS ? Click here to view image NOTES Chapter 2 1LTC Calvin H. Goddard USA, "Rockets (Part 1)", Army Ordnance, (Mar-Apr 1939), 302-304. 2Wehrner Von Braun et al., History of Rocketry & Space Travel (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1966), 25-26. 3Willey Ley, Rockets, Missiles and Men in Space (New York: The Viking Press, 1968), 47. 4Courtlandt Canby, A History of Rockets and Space (New York: Hawthorn Books Inc., 1963), 11-12. 5F. W. F. Gleason, "Rockets in History," Ordnance, (Mar-Apr 1948), 327. 6David Baker, The Rocket (New York: Crown Publishers, 1978), 10. 7Von Braun, 30. 8General Sir James Marshall-Cornwall, "Early Rockets," Royal Artillery Historical Society, ( No. 2, Jan 1972), courtesy of the Staff College, Camberley, England, 40-41, and Gleason, 327. 9O. F. G. Hogg (Brigadier, C.B.E., F.S.A.),Artillery: Its Origin, Heyday and Decline (London: C. Hurst Co., 1970) 248-250. 10Von Braun, 31. 11Marshall-Cornwall, 43-47. The first rocket artillerymen were drawn from the Royal Marines. According to LtCol D.F. Bittner, USMCR, Marine Corps Command & Staff College Historian, the term, "Blue Marine," described a branch of the Royal Marines that serviced naval guns. The terms "Blue Marine" and the "Red Marines" were eventually dropped in favor of the common name "Royal Marines". 12Gleason, 328, and Canby, 40. 13Gleason, 328. 14Ibid. 15Ivan .A. Slukhai, Russian Rocketry; A Historical Survey (Jerusalem: translated from Russian - Israel Program for Scientific Information, 1968), 3. 16Marshall-Cornwall, 45-46. 17Neil H. Swanson, The Perilous Fight (New York: Farrar and Rhinehart, Inc., 1945), 136-146. 18Ibid., 96. 19F. W. F. Gleason, "The Growth of Rocket Ordnance," Ordnance (May-Jun 1948), 397. 20Von Braun, 33. 21Gleason, "The Growth of Rocket Ordnance," 397. 22H. L. Scott (Col, USA), Military Dictionary (New York: Greenwood Press, 1968; first published 1861), 535-536. Scott's definition: "Rocket (War). A projectile set in motion by a force within itself. It is composed of a strong case of paper or wrought iron, inclosing a composition of nitre, charcoal and sulphur; so proportioned to burn slower than gunpowder. The head is either a solid shot, shell or spherical-case shot." He goes on to describe both Congreve and Hale stability mechanisms and explains how to achieve specific ranges with elevation and fuze length. 23Gleason, "The Growth of Rocket Ordnance," 398. 24Ibid. 25Von Braun, 34. 26Ley, 152. Chapter 3 1Baker, 23-24. 2John Kirk et al., Great Weapons of World War II (New York: Walker and Co., 1961), 276. 3Rudolf Lusar (translated by R. P. Heller), German Secret Weapons of the Second World War (New York: Rhilosophical Library, 1959), 167. 4MajGen J. F. C. Fuller, "The Artillery Rocket," Ordnance (Sep-Oct 1947), 88. 5Kirk, 276. 6Slukhai, 3-6. 7K. P. Kazakov (translated by Leo Kanner Associates), Always with the infantry, Always with the Tanks (Moscow (originally): republished by the U. S. Army Foreign Service and Technology Center, 1975), 14. 8Kazakov, 32. 9Robert G. Poirier, Red Army Order of Battle in the Great Patriotic War (Novato, CA: Praesidio Press, 1985), 11. 10Slukhai, 68. 11Sir Basil H. Liddell Hart, The Red Army (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1956), 14. 12Ibid. 13Oberst Kurt Hofman, "An Analysis of Soviet Artillery Development," International Defense Review (1978), 5-9. 14LTC Calvin H. Goddard USA, "Rockets (Part II)," Army Ordnance (Jul-Aug 1939), 370. 15Von Braun, 88-92. Chapter 4 1Joint Board on Scientific Information Policy, U. S. Rocket Ordnance Development and Use in World War II (Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1946), 10. 2Lida Mayo, The Ordnance Department: On Beachhead and Battlefield (U. S. Army in World War II Series) (Washington: U. S. Army, 1968), 31. 3Constance M. Green et al., The Ordnance Department: Planning Munitions for the War (U. S. Army in World War II Series) (Washington: Dept. of the Army, 1953), 273. 4Mayo, 332-334. 5Ibid. 6Ibid. 7Office of Scientific Research and Development, Rockets, Guns and Targets (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1948), 139-143. 8Marvin F. Taylor, a former reserve Marine 1st lieutenant who served in one of the original rocket detachments and later was assigned as a detachment commander, letter to History Division, Headquarters Marine Corps, July 1984. 9Ibid. 10Ibid. 111stLt George H. Ward USMCR, "Iwo Jima Operation; Action report of," (Iwo Jima: 3rd Provisional Rocket Detachment, April 1945). 12Ibid. 13Ibid. 14Capt John F. Nieman USMCR, "Nanshei Shoto Operation, Special Report on," (Okinawa: 4th Provisional Rocket Detachment, July 1945). 15LtCol Floyd R. Moore USMC, "Why Not Rocket Artillery," Marine Corps Gazette (Dec 1945), 30-32. 16No Author, "New Developments - 4.5" Rocket Battery," Marine Corps gazette (Apr 1947), 59. 17LtCol George B. Thomas USMC, "Historical Diary (Type-B), Preparation and Submission of," (Camp Pendleton, CA: 1st 4.5" Rocket Battalion, Dec 1950). 18LtCol George B, Thomas USMC, "Historical Diary (Type -B), submission of," (Camp Pendleton: 1st 4.5" Rkt Bn, Jan 1951). 19U. S. Marine Corps Equipment Board, Study on Marine Corps Equipment Policy 1950, (Quantico, VA: Marine Corps Equipment Board, Jan 1951), 90. 20Capt J. J. Travers USMC, "Historical Diary, submission of," (Korea: 1st 4.5" Rocket Battery, FMF, Jun 1952). 211stLt E. A. Bushe USMC, "Historical Diary, submission of," (Korea: 1st 4.5" Rkt Btry, FMF, May 1951). 22Travers. 23LtCol Pat Meid USMCR et al., U. S. Marine Operations in Korea 1950-1953, Volume V: Operations in West Korea, (Washington: Historical Division, Headquarters Marine Corps, 1972), 179. 24LtCol J. J. Wade USMC, "Ripple and Run," Marine Corps Gazette (Mar 1953), 33. 25Capt Edward H. Bailey USMC, "Fire Mission Rockets," Marine Corps Gazette (Sep 1952), 18-19. 26Wade, 34. 27Capt T. I. Gunning USMC et al., Evaluation of 6.5 inch Multiple Rocket Launcher, T129, (Quantico: Marine Corps Development Center, Oct 1955). 28Major J. M. McLaurin USMC, 6.5 inch Rocket Launcher, Project No. 35-55I, (Quantico: Marine Corps Development Center, 1956). 29News Release No. 660-67, "Rocket Attack," (DaNang, Viet Nam: III Marine Amphibious Force Information Office, Marach 1967). Chapter 5 1No Author, United States Marine Corps Acquisition Plan for a General Support Rocket system - Coordinating Draft (Washington: Headquarters Marine Corps, Oct 1984), 12. 2F. E. O'Connor et al, Multiple Launch Rocket System: A Case Study of Manpower, Personnel and Training Requirements Determination (Alexandria, VA: U. S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, 1984), 11. 3Copy of slide presentation on MLRS, unidentified source but contained in USMC Acquisition Project Officer's notes (1987), Slides #1 and #2. 4U. S. Army Field Artillery School, Multiple Launch Rocket System Operation, Field Circular 6-60: Coordinating Draft (Fort Sill, OK: USAFAS, Dec 1986), 4-4. 5No Author, "The Azimuth of the Field Artillery," The Field Artillery Journal, (Nov-Dec 1986), 22. 6USAFAS, FC 6-60, 1-1. 7No Author, "The Azimuth of the Field Artillery," 22. 8No Author, the information used here for comparison was based on a computer analysis (Feb 1985) done by the project office, Code LMW, HQMC. The data was modified to reflect the proposed T/O in Appendix G. 9John F. Rybicki, "Advanced Conventional Munitions and the Air-Land Battle," Military Technology (Oct 1986), 32-34. 10No Author, U. S. Marine Corps Concept of Employment for the General Support Rocket System - Coordinating Draft (Washington: Headquarters Marine Corps, Oct 1984), 2-4. 11No Author, "Multiple Launch Rocket System," a point paper, (Washington: Headquarters Marine Corps (POG), Nov 1981). 12MajGen H. G. Glasgow USMC Memorandum for the Deputy Chief of Staff for Research, Development and Studies, "Amended Draft Required Operational Capability (ROC) for a Field Artillery Rocket System (FARS)," (Washington: Headquarters Marine Corps, Dec 1983), 1. 13U. S. Marine Corps Concept of Employment for the General Support Rocket System, 2-5. 14This opinion was developed after several discussions with various program branch action officers at Headquarters Marine Corps conducted from Nov 1986 through Jan 1987. 15Information is based on informal discussions with both the contractor, LTV Corporation, and a project consultant at the Center for Naval Analysis, Alexandria, Virginia in Nov 1986. 16Ibid. Chapter 6 1LtCol D. W. L. Robinson RA, "Why Rockets," The Journal of the Royal Artillery, (Sep 1978), 116. 2Ibid. 3Kathleen Waslov et al, The Program Evaluation Group's Roles and Responsibilities in the POM Priortization Process, a contracted report for the U. S. Marine Corps (McLean, VA: Decisions and Designs, Inc., July 1983), 3-10. 4Vought Corporation, "Indirect Fire Weapons Study", A Technical Proposal (Dallas: Vought Corp., April 1981), 5. 5Neil Mitchell, Colonel USMC, telephonic interview conducted on 1 April 1987. BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary Sources Altman, Steven. Program Manager for the MLRS at LTV Aero Defense Co., Dallas, TX. Telephone Interview, 21 Nov 1986. Provided early background on the private sector's opinions as to the Marine Corps interest and involvement with the MLRS program. The discussion also uncovered information on the Navy's interest in potential uses of the rocket from a sea- platform. Altman, Steven. Letter to the author. 26 Nov 1986. Boomer, Walter, Brigadier General USMC, et al. Easter Offensive Symposium. Marine Corps Command & Staff College, Quantico, Virginia, 4 Dec 1986. General Boomer and several others on the panel frequently referred to the devastating psychological effects as well as the physical damage resulting from massive artillery and rocket fire by the North Vietnamese. Gunning, T. I., Capt USMC and Capt R. J. McNicholas USMC. "Evaluation of 6.5inch Multiple Rocket Launcher, T129 (C)." Declassified. Quantico, VA: Marine Corps Development Center, Oct 1955. A quick "study" done by two Marine Corps development project officers at the request of their headquarters to determine if a requirement still existed that the T129 MRL would be able to satisfy. No actual field testing was done. _________ Jane's Armour and Artillery, 1984-1985. 5th ed. London: Jane's Publishing Co., 1984. The best source for a complete review of all the multiple rocket launchers manufactured and employed throughout the world including their history, specifications and capabilities Marine Corps. Equipment Board. "Launcher, Rocket, Multiple, 4.5", T-66E-2 and Rocket, HE, 4.5", M16 (T38E3), further test of." Quantico, VA; U. S. Marine Barracks, March 1947. Provided some characteristics and capabilities of the rocket system that was to become the standard for the Corps through the Korean Conflict. Marine Corps Equipment Board. Study on Marine Corps Equipment Policy 1950 (MC General Order No. 85). Secret,declassified. Quantico, VA: MC Equipment Board, Jan 1951. Overall review of the full range of Marine Corps equipment and its future considerations. The study outlines requirements for a rocket system that would not replace conventional artillery and advocates continuing an active Marine Corps interest in the development of artillery rockets. Marine Corps Museum, U. S. Marine Corps Museum, Washington Navy Yard, Washington, D.C. visit on 26 Nov 1986. A very well done diorama depicting the Battle of Bladensburg where Marines distinguished themselves (under rocket attack) and, as a result, legend has it that the British did not burn the Commandant's House while they razed the rest of the U. S. Capital. McLaurin, J. M., Major USMC. Marine Corps Development Project Officer. "6.5-inch Rocket Launcher." An official Marine Corps report. Quantico, VA: Marine Corps Development Center, 1956. A study done to evaluate the Marine Corps' requirement for a 6.5-inch rocket launcher to replace the 4.5-inch launcher. Mitchell, Neil, Colonel USMC. Marine Corps Liaison, OP-954, Surface Warfare Division, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations. A telephonic interview on 1 April 1987. Colonel Mitchell provided the most current information on the Department of the Navy's effort to modernize its naval surface fire support. A recently approved study has set the stage for testing of the Multiple Launch Rocket System from a sea-based platform. The Navy version of the MLRS is called the Assault Ballistic Rocket System or ABRS. Nieman, John F., Capt USMCR. "Nanshei Shoto Operation, Special Action on." Okinawa, Japan: 4th Provisional Rocket Detachment, 13 Jul 1945. This correspondence was retrieved from Marine Corps Archives and includes the Rocket Detachment commander's "after action" observations following the amphibious assault on Okinawa. O'Connor, F. E., R. L. Fairail and E. H. Birdseye. Multiple Launch Rocket System: A Case Study of Manpower, Personnel and Training Requirements Determination. A contracted report done by Information Spectrum, Inc. Alexandria, VA: U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Jan 1984. The report analyzes the procedures used to determine the manpower, personnel and training requirements for the MLRS. Although it is primarily concerned with the determination procedures in these areas, it also provides good historical background on the MLRS procUrement. Richardson, George. Research analyst at Center for Naval Analysis, Alexandria, VA. Interview, 26 Nov 1986. Actually an informal discussion was conducted uncovering recent consulting work contracted for by the Marine Corps relative to the Multiple Launch Rocket System. Provided good background information. Scott, Joseph, Major USMC. Supporting Arms Project Officer, Plans and Operations - Ground (POG), Headquarters Marine Corps, Washington, D.C. Interview, 7 Nov 1986. Excellent status review of current Marine Corps position on the MLRS and artillery modernization in general. Major Scott provided the most current information on the potential for USMC procurement of the MLRS. Taylor, Marvin F. A letter to the U. S. Marine Corps Historical Division, dated 12 Jul 1984. This correspondence found in the Marine Corps Museum Library subject files yielded the best information relative to the beginnings of Marine Corps efforts to field rocket launchers in World War II. Thomas, George B., LtCol USMC. Historical diaries from the 1st 4.5" Rocket Battalion stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA. These two diaries (Dec 1950, Jan 1951) formed the primary source for information about the early difficulties encountered in establishing the Marine Corps first rocket battalion. Travers, J. J., Capt USMC. "1st 4.5" Rocket Battery, FMF Special Historical Report" (with endorsements). 22 Aug 1952. Retrieved from Marine Corps Archives, these battery diaries document the rocket battery's action at the front during the Korean Conflict including the commander's comments on problems and concerns. This report referenced the first time Marine artillery (rockets) were moved by helicopters. U. S. Marine Corps. "Amended Draft Required Operational Capability (ROC) for a Field Artillery Rocket System (FARS)." A memorandum for the Deputy Chief of Staff (HQMC) for Research, Development and Studies. Washington: HQMC (Code POG), Dec 1983. A decision memorandum proposing the termination of the FARS effort within the Marine Corps and the reasons therefore. U. S. Marine Corps. "Field Artillery Rocket System (FARS) Acquisition Coordinating Group (ACG) Meeting of 28 Oct 1982." A memorandum for the record. Washington: HQMC (Code POG), undated. A documented report from a meeting of the FARS ACG at HQMC where recommendations were made to stop all development activity on FARS and to begin exploring the adaptation of the Navy 5-inch Zuni rocket system to Marine Corps purposes. U. S. Marine Corps. "Proposed Required Operational Capability (ROC) For A General Support Rocket System." A naval letter from CG, MC Development and Education Command to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Quantico, VA: MCDEC, June 1985. An outline of the considered operational requirements to be satisfied by a GSRS or MLRS from the perspective of the development project officers in the Firepower Division at the MC Development Center with comments from the acquisition sponsor project office (LMW). U. S. Marine Corps. " U.S. Marine Corps Concept of Employment for then General Support Rocket System." A coordinating draft. Washington: HQMC (Code POG), Oct 1984. Although not an officially published document, probably written by a Major James McLaughlin USMC and DPO's, this is an excellent development of a concept of how the Marine Corps might envision employing the MLRS. Very comprehensive treatment of the subject. U. S. Marine Corps, "United States Marine Corps Acquisition Plan For a General Support Rocket System." A coordinating draft. Washington: HQMC (Code POG), Oct 1984. This paper also unofficial complements the COE above by discussing the development of the requirement for a GSRS and some of the decision process for procuring specific numbers of a new GSRS including dlelivery requirements. Vought Corporation. "Indirect Fire Weapons Study." A technical proposal. Dallas: Vought Corp., April 1981 A proposal to conduct a full scale study of specific Marine Corps requirements to field the MLRS on a "Marine" platform. The paper provides an excellent background on the Marine Corps/Vought relationship and the Marine Corps developing interest in the MLRS. Ward, George H., 1st Lieutenant USMC, "Iwo Jima Operation, Action Report of." Iwo Jima, Japan: 3rd Provisional Rocket Detachment, 16 April 1945. Ward was the detachment commander and gives an excellent account of the involvement of his rocketeers during and after the assault on Iwo Jima to include some very candid observations about the detachment's accomplishments and difficulties. Secondary Sources __________ "The Azimuth of the Field Artillery." The Field Artillery Journal. Nov-Dec 1986. A fine discussion of where U. S. Army artillery is today and where it and its technology is going. Bagshaw-Mattei, J. A., Major RA, and Frank King. "Multiple Launch Rocket Systems in the Third World War." The Journal of the Royal Artillery. March 1982. A fictitious account of the MLRS in action in a World War III scenario against the Soviet mechanized forces. Bailey, Edward A., Capt USMC. "Fire Mission Rockets." Marine Corps Gazette. Sep 1952. The author discusses the newly formed rocket battalion, its capabilities and missions as well as presenting some observations on the performance of the rocket battery in Korea. Baker, David. The Rocket. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1978. The origins and developments of the rocket from the Chinese to space travel is presented with numerous photographs and drawings. Bellamy, Chris. Red God of War: Soviet Artillery and Rocket Forces. New York: Pergamon Press-Brassey's Defence Publishers, 1986. A very readable historical account of the development of Russian and Soviet howitzers, field guns and rocket launchers from the 14th century on. The author provides detailed information not only on weaponry, but also on the genesis and growth of Soviet artillery techniques, tactics and doctrine. Bishop, Richard M., Cpt USA. "Multiple Rocket Launcher Tactics." The Field Artillery Journal. May-June 1985. An excellent article describing in detail various employment options to include non-standard artillery missions in both the offense and defense. Required reading for MLRS-interested parties. Brenner, Charles B. , Cpt USA. "A System that Could Make a Difference." The Field Artillery Journal. Sep-Oct 1985. After discussing Soviet use of MRL's, the author contends that the MLRS is not enough. He advocates that a lightweight MRL be procured through a shortened acquisition process. Canby, Courtlandt. A History of Rockets and Space. New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc.,1963 A standard incorporation of war rocket history into an overall history of rocketry enroute to space travel. The work contains some useful information on the early war rockets as well as on Congreve's involvement. More modern war/artillery rockets receive very light treatment. Chamberlain, Peter and Terry Gander, Mortars and Rockets. New York: Arco Publishing Co., 1975. An excellent source for both photographic and detailed characteristic sketches of mortars and rockets used in WWII to include both the launch platforms and the munitions. Some historical data is provided in short, clipped segments on each different weapon system. Corrales, Mary L. "MLRS - The Soldier's System." The Field Artillery Journal. Jul-Aug 1980. Good background on the MLRS, its specifications and capabilities. This article was used to familiarize the field commanders surveyed. Doyling, George, Sgt USMC. "The Buck Rogers Men." Leatherneck Magazine. April 1945. Very good article on the Marine Corps rocketeers in action on Tinian and Saipan during the Pacific campaign. Fein, Paul. Warsaw Pact Ground Forces Equipment Identification Guide: Artillery, Rockets & Missiles. Washington: Defense Intelligence Agency, Feb 1982. A basic manual for identifying Soviet and Warsaw Pact weaponry with some specifications and capabilities. Ferman, David D. "MLRS in Amphibious/Manuever Warfare." Amphibious Warfare Review. August 1985. An excellent article introducing the general Marine Corps community to the capabilities of the MLRS and its applicability to amphibious warfare. The author, a former Marine, is employed by the contractor for the weapon system Ferry, J.P., Colonel RA. "The Rebirth of the Military Rocket and it's Development as an Artillery Weapon, 1900-1945." Record of session. Royal Artillery Historical Society. Jan 1976. Provided by the British Staff College at Camberley, this is documented presentation given at the Royal Artillery Ballroom in April 1975 where the author describes the growth of artillery rockets with a focus on World WarII. Floca Jr., Samuel W., LTC USA. "Do We Know How to Use MLRS?." The Field Artillery Journal. Sep-Oct 1984. Author argues that since the MLRS can not yet fight the deep battle that the system should be more immediately responsive to the division commander and so should be organized at the division-level rather than at Corps. Fuller, J. F. C., MajGen RA. "The Artillery Rocket." Ordnance. Sep-Oct 1947. A very useful article that discusses the rocket as a challenger to the "dominance of the cannon". Provides good background on the World War II rocket programs. Gaither, Thomas D., Major USA (FA). "Firex 76." The Journal of the Royal Artillery. March 1978. Reviews the performance of the British MRl, Slammer, at a firing exercise at Fort Bragg. Gilbert, G. V., Major RA. "BM-27." The Journal of the Royal Artillery. Sep 1982. One of the most complete sources of data on the newest Soviet multiple rocket launcher. Gleason, F. W. F. "Rockets in History." Ordnance. March-April 1948. Valuable source for historic data on early war rockets from the Chinese through the Congreve period. Author suggests that India may have used war rockets as early as 200-300 B.C. but he can not document it. Gleason, F. W. F. "The Growth of Rocket Ordnance." Ordnance. May- June 1948. A continuation of his previous article, this work brings the reader from the Congreve rocket through World War II. It provided somef very helpflul information on rockets during the Mexican and Civil Wars. Goddard, Calvin H., LtCol USA. "Rockets (Parts I, II and III)." Army Ordnance. March-Aug 1939. A three part article in successive issues that brings the reader from the time of the Greek author Philostratus (245 A.D.) through the American Civil War with the development of rocket technology. Green, Constance M., Harry C. Thomson and Peter C. Roots. The Ordnance Department: Planning Munitions for War (U. S. Army in WWII Series). Washington: Dept. of the Army, 1955. One of a large series of books done on the activities of the Ordnance Department of the Army during World War II. This particular volume provided interesting background on the interaction of American and Soviet rocket programs during the War and useful insight into how U.S. standardization of equipment was accomplished. Gurney, Gene, LtCol USAF. Rocket and Missile Technology. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1964. Primarily a look at the development of current missile systems employed by and for the Air Force with some interesting, anecdotal information on the beginnings of war rockets. Hoffman, Dietmar, LtCol FRG. "A Look at LARS." The Field Artillery Journal. Sep-Oct 1985. a brief description of the characteristics, capabilities and employment of the Bundeswehr's light artillery rocket system fielded to fill the gap until full deployment of the MLRS. Hofman, Kurt, Oberst FRG. "An Analysis of Soviet Artillery Development." Interavia's International Defense Review. Special Series - 7, 1978. A particular segment comments on the Soviet's complete modernization of its rocket forces during the mid-1950's and some insight into Soviet rocket employment doctrine. Hogg, O. F. G., Brigadier, C.B.E., F.S.A. Artillery: Its Origin, Heyday and Decline. London/Hamsden, Conn: C. Hurst & Co., 1970. An excellent book on the history of artillery including rockets up through World War II. Contains extensive detail on the work of Congreve, Hale and the British during the Second World War. Joint Board on Scientific Information Policy. U. S. Rocket Ordnance, Development and Use in World War II. Washington: GPO, 1946. A very lucid concise description of the rocket program in the United States during World War II. Each service is treated separately with some detail. The book also contains a very short review of the historical development of war rockets. Kamarck, Andrew, Cpt USA (FA). "Re-birth of the War Rocket." The Field Artillery Journal. July 1943. Contains the usual history of rockets and identifies Willy Ley as a good source. The article provides more detail than others on the British employment of rockets during the early 1800's. Kazakov, K. P. Translated by Leo Kanner Associates. Always with the infantry, Always with the Tanks (Vsegda s pekhotoy, Vsegda s tankami). Moscow (originally)/Washington: republished by U.S. Army Foreign Science and Technology Center, 1975. A rather lengthy discussion and narration of the historic development of modern Russian artillery. A fairly objective presentation with good insight into the rapid growth of rocket brigades during WWII. Kirk, John and Robert Young, Jr. Great Weapons of World War II. New York: Walker and Co., 1961. A general account replete with photographs of the major weapon systems used by both sides in WWII. Rockets are discussed from the German, Russian and American perspectives but only briefly. Lee, R.G. Introduction to Battlefield Weapons Systems and Technology. London: Brassey's Defense Publishers, Ltd., 1985. A primer on the current state-of-the art weaponry with brief background on the historical path the major systems followed to get to where they are today. Ley, Willy. Rockets, Missiles and Men in Space. New York: The Viking Press, 1968. Although primarily oriented towards the space program, this is an excellent book dealing with the military development of rockets from 1232 to 1945. The author provides some plainly explained technical aspects for the successes and failures of rockets throughout their progress. Liddell-Hart, Sir Basil H. The Red Army. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1956. A goood detailed accounting of the development of the Soviet Army from World War II until the early 1950's which presents insight into both their strengths and weaknesses. The comments on Soviet rocket employment assist in an understanding of the Russian philosophy for their use. Love, John C., Major USMC. "Rocket Artillery: A New Challenge." Marine Corps Gazette. July 1964. In light of the increasing involvement in Viet Nam, the author considers the employment of the older M21 MRL for counter-guerilla operations. This article did not provide much background for the paper. Lusar, Rudolf. Translated by R. P. Heller and M. Schindler. German Secret Weapons of the Second World War. New York: Philosophical Library, 1959. Although most of this book contains information relative to the V-2 program, it does develop the artillery rocket from WWI campaign in France where the need for a larger "smoke shell mortar" was identified until the Nebelwerfer was fielded. __________. Edited by W. Victor Madej. U.S. Army and Marine Corps Order of Battle - Pacific Theater of Operations 1941 - 1945. Allentown: Game Publishing Co., 1984. This was the first source that helped identify the number and locations of Marine rocket detachments during the Second World War. Marshall-Cornwall, General Sir James, K.C.B., C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C. "Early Rockets." Record of session. Royal Artillery Historical Society. Jan 1972. A presentation at the Royal Artillery Ballroom, Woolwich where the author presents a historical survey of war rockets from the Chinese through the early 1800's with a primary focus on the Congreve period. Mayo, Lida. The Ordnance Department: On Beachhead and Battlefront (U.S. Army in WWII Series). Washington: U. S. Army, 1968. A later work on the Ordnance Dept. during WWII with specific attention to weapon development including rockets. Good treatment of the bazooka and the initial feedback from the field concerning the advantages and disadvantages of the tank-mounted MRL. McGuire, James D. "Soviet Rocket Weapons." Army. Aug 1960. Author briefly discusses development of Soviet rocketry from WWII to 1960. He presents a clear view of the rocket units within the structure of the Soviet armed forces. Photographs of current systems developed since 1953 (except BM-27). Meid, Pat, LtCol USMCR and Maj James M. Yingling USMC. U. S. Marine Operations in Korea 1950 - 1953, Volume V: Operations in West Korea. Washington: HQMC Historical Division, 1972. Detailed accounts of Marine units in action in western Korea at the front. Although primarily written at the regiment and battalion-level, book does highlight tactical innovations such as helicopter operations with multiple rocket lauchers. ___________. "The Modern Katyusha." Translated from Polish by Scitran, Santa Barbara, CA. Charlottesville, VA: U. S. Army Foreign Science and Technology Center, March 1978. A translated article from the Soviet journal Znamenosets which provides good detail on the BM-21. Moore, Floyd R., LtCol USMC. "Why Not Rocket Artillery ?" Marine Corps Gazette. Dec 1945. Review of the advantages and disadvantages of rocket artillery from the experiences in the Pacific during WWII. The author presents the reader with the current direction of weapon development and his recommendations for a "concept of employment". Morrow, Garcia E. et al. Lessons Learned - Multiple Launch Rocket System. Fort Belvoir, VA: Defense Systems Management College, Jul 1980. This report reviews the system acquisition process involved with the procurement of the MLRS by the Army. Some good historical data is presented on the beginnings of the MLRS program. ___________. "New Developments - 4.5" Rocket Battery." Marine Corps Gazette. April 1947. Describes the addition of the 4.5 inch rocket batteries to each division of the Marine Corps. Office of Scientific Research and Development. Rockets,Guns and Targets: Rockets, Target Information, Erosion Information, and Hypervelocity Guns Developed during World War II. Edited by John E. Burchard. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1948. A very detailed treatment of the history of American rockets from 1918 through the end of World War II with particular emphasis on activities of OSRD and NDRC. Some excellent information about the Marine Corps' involvement with the U.S. rocket program in 1943 was gleaned from the text. This book was a part of the "Science in World War II" series. Poirier, Robert G. and Albert Z. Conner. Red Army Order of Battle in the Great Patriotic War. Novato, CA: Praesidio Press, 1985. An excellent description of the structure and organization of the Soviet forces from brigade through the army level during WWII, which includes data on the activation of the Guards Rocket Barrage Divisions and the Rocket Barrage Brigades. Rees, W. H., LtCol USAF. "We Need an MRL." The Field Artillery Journal. Nov-Dec 1976. An interesting article from the standpoint that it was written by an Air Force officer who discusses the development of the Soviet concept of employing massed rocket launchers in combat. The author establishes the cost approach where an MRL that fires a SEAD mission saving an $18-30 million aircraft more than offsets th[e hard system procurement costs. Robinson, D. W. L., LtCol RA. "Why Rockets." The Journal of the Royal Artillery. Sep 1978. The British experience with their RS80 rocket launcher is discussed. In light of the obsolescence of the M107 (175mm gun), the author emphasizes the requirement for a rocket system on the battlefield. Ruiz, Albert L. "Nazi Rocket Research." Ordnance. Sep-Oct 1947. This article only brushed the subject of artillery rockets but did establish the Treaty of Versailles restrictions as a factor in the German interest in war rockets. Ryan, J. W. Guns, Mortars and Rockets. London: Brassey's Publishers LTD., 1982. An extensive, yet simple, technical look at weaponry providing some historical background. An adequate discussion of Congreve rockets, the Soviet BM-21, the British RS80, the Italian FIROS 6 and the MLRS. Rybicki, John F. "Advanced Conventional Munitions and the Air Land Battle." Military Technology. Oct 1986. After a brief review of the Air Land Battle, the author looks at the Army Tactical Missile System, ATACMS, its characteristics and capabilities. Slukhai, Ivan A. Translated from Russian. Russian Rocketry, A historical survey. Jerusalem: Israel Program for Scientific Information, 1968. A rather emotional, slanted view of the early Soviet rocket program focusing on their WWII experience. However, some good information on initial rocket battery operations can be sifted out. Scott, H. L., Colonel USA. Military Dictionary. New York: Greenwood Press, 1968 (originally published in 1861). This dictionary which provided one of the first definitions of rockets for American war use was part of a survey of dictionaries such as An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Science and War (1943), Dictionary of Basic Military Terms (USSR/1965), and A Dictionary of United States Military Terms (1963) which established a framework within which to analyze the depth of acceptance (or rejection) of the war rocket as an implement of battle by military professionals at various moments in time. Swanson, Neil H. The Perilous Fight. New York: Farrar and Rhinehart, Inc., 1945. A difficult-to-read account of the Battle of Bladensburg which provides excellent insight into the battlefield experiences of American troops with the introduction of artillery rockets on U. S. soil by the British Royal Marines. Thomson, Harry C. and Lida Mayo. The Ordnance Department: Procurement and Supply (U.S. Army in WWII Series). Washington: Dept. of the Army, 1960. A broad treatment of the acquisition process for WWII ordnance centering on ammunition. A few sections briefly discuss rocket ammunition and suggest that many ordnance men "were momentarily stunned by the thought that rockets might some day render all existing artillery obsolete." U. S. Army Field Artillery School. Multiple Launch Rocket System Operations. Field Circular 6 - 60, a coordinating draft. Fort Sill, OK: USAFAS, Dec 1986. This publication was designed to be a guide for artillery headquarters, MLRS battalion and battery commanders and staffs, and for supported manuever units. it is the most complete source for current doctrine and concepts for the employment, tactics and techniques for the MLRS. VonBraun, Wernher and Frederick I. Ordway. History of Rocketry & Space Travel. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1966. An outstanding source for the beginnings of war rockets cloaked in a general history of the space program. The authors present a very detailed account of French sinologists and their documenting of the Chinese rocket experiences, as well as good histories of the British, Russian and American rocket programs from start through WWII. Required reading. Von Braun, Wernher and Frederick I. Ordway III. The Rockets' Red Glare. New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1976. A short book obviously a follow-on effort to the previous entry which dealt primarily with artillery rockets and their employment from the Renaissance to the early 1800's. This work provided some useful background data and served to confirm other acquired material. Wade, J.J., LtCol USMC. "Ripple and Run." Marine Corps Gazette. March 1953. Author discusses the Marine use of rockets in Korea, the German employment of rocket tanks (Panzerwerfers) and the then current state of artillery rockets in the Corps. He submits several recommendations including considering the LVT as a platform. Wilson, Paul E., Major USMC. "To Determine If the Marine Corps Needs an Artillery Rocket of the 'Honest John' Type." Research paper. Quantico, VA: Marine Corps Command & Staff College, 1965. Although Major Wilson's work was oriented primarily towards the Honest John, he did provide some background and opinions on Soviet rocket artillery and his bibliography was a good referral for additional sources.
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