Military History/Marines - 75mm pack howitzer
Hi, I was wondering how close the crew of a marine 75mm howitzer were to the battle that was taking place. Were they as close as the mortars were? Thanks
First you should know that the howitzer was Army designed in the 1920's and was built to be broken down into 6 pieces which could be loaded onto pack animals. In the Marines's case that was them.
They adopted it as a light artillery weapon that could be man handled ashore from landing craft and provide artillery support in the artillery battalions of the light artillery battalions of the divison artillery regiments.
Yes in some cases the 75mm Paks would be firing from the same areas as the mortars but only due to limited space, like on Iwo Jima where it was difficult to expand the beachead and every indirect weapons was brought on line as soon as possible. As the lines moved forward, the 60 mm mortars which were a weapons platoon weapon, would move forward with the companies. The 75 mm pack and the 105mm howitzers would stay back as regimental weapons and were on call to support all the battalions of the regiment. Usually one battalion of the division artillery regiment was assigned to each Marine regiment along with assault engineer companies and amtrack battalions and they were designated a regimental comabat team.
So as a rule, if normal doctrine were used, the mortars were in use as company heavy weapons, and the 88mm mortars were in use as battalion heavy weapons, and 75mm howitzers were in use as regimental weapons. All were subject to the command priorities of the headquarters of the command level of which they were attached.
Make sense? They wer attached to the HQ that was within their optimum range. from closest to farthest.
But like on Iwo, until the beachhead was expanded, there was not much difference. Peleliu and Saipan for the first couple days would have been similar.