Talk:Artillery battery

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I'd not consider myself qualified to edit the article Artillery battery, but i note that it covers the topic

  • #1. Military units that have
    • "battery" in their name, and
    • artillery pieces among their equipment.

It does little to address two distinct but related topics:

  • #2. What such a unit, or sailors on a Pennsylvania class battleship, do in the field with their artillery pieces or cannon. (My casual reading of the Richard Sharpe novels (Sharpe's Tiger, Sharpe's Company, Sharpe's Regiment, etc.) of Bernard Cornwell leads me to believe this is an interesting and encyclopedic subject.)
  • #3. The organization and history of military units that have "battery" in their name, but don't have any artillery among their equipment.

I've gone ahead and created a stub Battery (military unit) to help identity the articles that already link to it (as a result of my work following conversion of Battery to a disamb page). I suppose it might end up as a redirect rather than an article.

When i disambiguated Battery, i assumed a factoring into

If that aspect of Battery is kept as is, Artillery battery probably should be refactored into two corresponding articles; the tactical & strategic one would need a lot of new material.

Or, if Artillery battery keeps its current extent, someone should

-Jerzy


Jerzy, I don't quite follow you. You seem mainly to be asking for separate articles for artillery units vs. their tactics. Is that what you mean? I don't really see the point when the whole article is so short. Perhaps splitting could be reconsidered when it somewhat longer. Securiger 14:52, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I'm ignorant, and perhaps i'm mostly confused. My impression is that there are units called batteries that have no artillery, just as the air cav and armored cav have no horses.

Not that I am aware of (although my service was not in the artillery). As noted in the article, there some batteries that are equipped with missiles or heavy rockets instead of more traditional "tube artillery", but this ordance is still considered to be artillery. The closest you get is that a few (very few) countries (e.g. Norway, IIRC) continue to maintain units specifically responsible for coastal defence, and call them coastal batteries regardless of how they are currently armed (currently often heavy ATGMs and fast inflatables). This is already mentioned in the article. Securiger 02:19, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

It is clear the batteries on battleships are not associated with any army units named "battery".

Yes, true. Except that both involve groups of large guns, the naval and land usage are completely unrelated. However if I'm not mistaken, the navy doesn't refer to their guns as "artillery", but as "naval gunnery". Perhaps we could have a disambig. link from battery to naval battery - but I'd prefer to ask a sailor first! Securiger 02:19, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

My reference to operations is more of an afterthot, in wondering what does belong in a "battery as well organized bunch of artillery pieces" article as opposed to a "battery as any unit the brass decide to put that name on" article.

I also don't think i am qualified to work out the structure. Perhaps i made a bad decision in using the unit vs. deployment distinction in my disamb of Battery. User:Lir may be on the way to completely refactoring the military uses back into the single article, and if that is a good idea it's not obvious that Battery needs to change, now or ever. I'm more hoping to wash my hands of the military senses (i'm a dilletante who realizes it) than to guide a refactoring, tho at the very least i think the battleship batteries need some thot. --Jerzy 16:11, 2003 Dec 11 (UTC)

OK, put in an article for naval battery, if you can find someone to write it - or perhaps a stub to encourage someone to write it. Don't worry about splitting this article until it gets much longer. Securiger 02:19, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)

An afterthot: looking at the language in Battery that Lir changed, i am reminded that the survivors of a battery become, when they ordnance is destroyed by counter-battery fire, a military unit merely qualified to operate artillery, as do those who are deployed ahead of their equipment, or whose pre-deployed equipment is captured, or impounded by allies turned neutrals. (Didn't both impoundment and follow-on by equipment happen, at least to armor units, in Iraq?) --Jerzy 16:31, 2003 Dec 11 (UTC)

Jerzy, I don't mean to be rude, but it seems to me that this is really splitting hairs. "Battery" refers to a unit which consists of the guns and the men who operate them. Sure, under certain circumstances they might get split up, but do we really need separate articles for that? Securiger 02:19, 12 Dec 2003 (UTC)
No, S., IMO you aren't being rude. And i probably looked like i was still trying to argue for the approach i used in Battery, when i was just completing my brain-dump before bowing out of a discussion that i consider over my head; your misunderstanding is probably my fault.
I'll be entirely happy to see both my land-war senses of battery collapse into one, especially since no one seems to take seriously the idea (that i have no idea where i got) that there are batteries that haven't had any artillery for decades; i dunno, it may just be a seemingly logical extension of horseless cavalry and units that belong to a ceremonial regiment besides (or instead of?) their real one.
And thanks for being so over-scrupulous as to ask. --Jerzy 03:13, 2003 Dec 12 (UTC)


A few points to consider: "Battery," at least in US usage, refers to the military organization rather than just the equipment. Thus there are units, such as the "Headquarters and Headquarters Battery" ("HHB") found in US Army Field Artillery Battalions, which contain no guns but are known as Batteries because they are a unit within the Artillery branch.

Artillery units may be re-purposed for other missions, yet retain their designation as Artillery. Thus, my Battery was merged with two others from our Battalion, becoming "D Battery (Provisional Military Police)" when the Army needed us to perform MP and Infantry missions in Iraq. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.4.171.144 (talk) 12:55, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Exactly! In U.S. Army terms, a Battery is a "company-level" artillery unit, Field or Air Defense type. It may be a Headquarters unit (Hqtrs and Hdqtrs Btry), a delivery unit, such as a howitzer battery (FA cannons), MLRS/HIMARS battery (FA rockets), Stinger (ADA SHORAD [short range air def]), or Patriot (ADA HIMAD [high to medium AD]), or it may be a Target Acquisition unit such as a Target Acquisition Battery (TAB). The term has gravitated from functional grouping to unit level. Caisson 06 (talk) 19:49, 13 September 2012 (UTC)


Naval Battery[edit]

A naval battery is perhaps the grouping of several guns in one turret? Rmhermen 16:47, Dec 11, 2003 (UTC)

No, a battery is a grouping of individual artillery pieces, like a platoon of tanks. The confusion comes because many modern batteries are the same size as infantry companies. As I noted in my revision though, this is a more modern development. As recently as the 80s, batteries were double the size they are now and could often act independently. There were times when mortars were organized into batteries, as historically there have been some BIG mortars. Recently in the US that has not been the case and they have been used only by the infantry. That is going to change with the Marine Corps's new mortar that is being operated by trained artillerymen.

Some other confusion: batteries are for artillery, not just randomly assigned. The splitting hairs example can happen where a battery fulfills some other duty, such as acting as infantry, but retains the designation because this is temporary. Artillery units generally act as secondary infantry units if the type of conflict doesn't warrant the use of artillery (after the fall of Baghdad). As far as naval artillery, it used to be just cannons loaded on a ship, as you may have seen on restored ships and in movies. Sometimes you will hear, "portside battery fire!" You can see that while they developed differently they have a common heritage. I don't know much about naval gunfire but that pretty much makes sense.

Anyway, hope that helps a little!(Guest 06:01, 8 April 2006 (UTC))


If anyone is still concerned...
I have been planning on creating Naval Battery (actually water battery) for a while, but have only stub-worthy material so far. This will be the battery built for coastal defence, close to shore, designed to skip shot across the water to hit (wooden) ships at the waterline. I am going to put the stub up soon to defend another entry where a 'stylish' revision has decided to ignore the historical significance...blah blah waaa I will check here once its made for any suggestions of how to work the title and linkage to this article.
kilr0y217.26.84.76 00:06, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
During WW2 Hitler wanted to dismount the turrets from Germany's remaining cruisers and capital ships and install the turrets as shore batteries, according to "The Battle of Barents Sea". Hitler didn't realize that the poor showing of the Pocket Battleship and heavy cruiser detached to attack murmansk was due to his order that the capital ships were not to incur any risks. SMS Lutzow was one of the big ships. Lutzow, another big ship, and half a dozen big German destroyers were held off by smoke and torpedo attacks from the convoy's escort of half a dozen plucky British O-class destroyers, until the distant escort of some British cruisers had time to arrive. Hitler thought the German destroyers were bolder and more successful than the big ships. He sacked the German CNO, ordered the turrets dismounted, and appointed Doenitz, the admiral in charge of the U-boats, the most junior Admiral, and the only admiral who was a member of the Nazi party, as CNO. Doenitz talked him out of disarming (most?) of the capital ships however.
Cheers! Geo Swan 04:23, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
I came here to see if there was an article about naval batteries. And yes, battery is the correct term for the armament. On a battleship, the primary battery would be the heavy guns (10-18 inchers), a secondary battery of 3-6 inch guns (casemated, turreted, etc.), and later ships had the tertiary anti-aircraft battery. I think Geo swan is a bit confused though, it was the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst that was driven off by cruisers and destroyers at the battle of North Cape, while her sistership German battlecruiser Gneisenau was disarmed and had her weapons turned into coastal batteries (take a look at this picture: Image:Gneisenau-1.jpg). Anyways, was the article about naval batteries ever created? Parsecboy 20:31, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
The section on naval batteries is pretty poor. It does contain the core information as to what a naval battery is, but that is little more than a dictionary definition. The rest of the section is about naval gunnery generally - the last paragraph for instance has nothing to do with batteries. The illustrations are similarly irrrelevant, especially the picture of a single gun. I wonder if the section is needed - one sentence elsewhere in the article could refer to the naval usage of the term "battery" and move on. Cyclopaedic (talk) 20:02, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Battery as a generic name for any unit associated with field artilley[edit]

In the discussion of the military term "battery," I must note the US Army practise of naming any organiztion of company level (100-400+ soldiers, commanded by a captain or sometimes a major).

As a newly joined officer at Ft Sill Oklahoma, I was assigned to the First Officer Student Battery, USA Artillery and Missile School. The 1st OSB, had no weapons of any description. It was organized as a administrative "Table of Distribution and Allowances" unit, as opposed to a unit organized as a "Table of Organization and Equipment" unit. The nuaunsces between TDA and TOE deal with the minutia of force structure and funding appropriations.

I should also note that there was a WAC Battery at Ft Sill at that time. The Women's Army Corps was still in existance and since this unit was based at Ft Sill its designation was "battery." None of the gals were cannoneers; the unit had no field artillery pieces.

Other notable batteries include: Target acquistion and countermortar/rocket/artillery radar batteries; rocket batteries including Honest John and Little John; missile batteries such as Pershing, Sergeant, Corporal, Lance and the current M271 Multiple Launch Rocket System.

There have been aviation batteries as well. In Vietnam, my unit controlled two sections frrom the 2-20 FA (AFA) of AH-1 Cobra gunships, designated and used as aerial field artilley. The division artillery also had E Battery 82d FA Regiment that was an aerial surveilance organization (O-1 Bird Dogs).

A former boss described his duties as a battery officer in a 280 mm towed battery. There is a 280mm howitzer at Ft Sill named Atomic Annie. It deliverd several nuclear rounds at frenchman's Flats in Neveada in the 1950s. The 280mm battery had only two pieces.

Finally, there have been railway artilley batteries pieces organized around a single gun.

Blockhouse Signal Mountain 15:57, 16 August 2006 (UTC) Blockhouse Signal Mountain

Proposed addition to the introduction:
In the artillery arms of some forces, the term battery is extended to include organizations which aren't equipped with artillery weapons, such as counter-battery radar batteries, surveillance batteries, or even helicopter batteries. It is also used for administrative purposes to include non-combat organizations, such as a Women's Army Corps (WAC) battery as part of the organization of an artillery unit.
This should be treated as a side note, since this article is about combat artillery batteries, and not a dictionary definition of "battery". Michael Z. 2006-08-16 19:18 Z

Grammar[edit]

While the intention here is to provide information on a topic, I do think the quality of delivery is important, too. I made a couple of grammatical corrections, but many still exist. Most include excessive use of commas or the need for semicolons, etc. All-in-all, though, the article was pretty cool and very informative to someone like myself (non-military types).75.112.134.2 12:48, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Artillery Divisions[edit]

What's the source for saying artillery divisions appeared from WW1? AFAIK they first appeared in the second half of WW2, eg the short-lived German 18th Arty Div and several Red Army ones.Nfe (talk) 05:16, 5 February 2010 (UTC)