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Marine Corps Artillery Rockets: Back Through The Future
CSC 1987
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
     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.
                        BACK THROUGH THE FUTURE
                        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
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
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
     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
     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
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
     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
     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
       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
     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
     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
     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"
     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
     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
     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
     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
     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
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
     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.
     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
     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
     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
     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
     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
     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
     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
     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
     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
     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
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
     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
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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
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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
     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
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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
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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
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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
     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
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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
               - 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
     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
     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
     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
     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
     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
     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
     -  " '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
     -  "  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
     -  ". . . limited value in current operational (MAU/MAB)
     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
                             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
     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
     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
               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
     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
     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
               - 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
     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
               - both  range  and lethality  multipliers  far  in
excess of three times that of current artillery weapons.
               - "clean"    ammunition   storage   and   handling
     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
     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
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
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
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                           APPENDIX C
                    Field Commanders' Survey
After reviewing the attached article, please answer the following
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
6.  Do  you  have any other ideas,  concerns or  suggestions  for
employment of the MLRS ?
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                           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),
     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.
     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
     23Gleason, "The Growth of Rocket Ordnance," 398.
     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.
     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.
     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.
     111stLt George H.  Ward USMCR,  "Iwo Jima Operation;  Action
report of," (Iwo Jima:  3rd Provisional Rocket Detachment, April
     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).
     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,
     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.
                            Chapter 6
     1LtCol D.  W. L. Robinson RA, "Why Rockets,"  The Journal of
the Royal Artillery, (Sep 1978), 116.
     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.
                         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-
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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