Tracks of the Dragon a History of Australians Locating Artillery by K. Ayliffe & J. Posener : new book
This military book is divided into two sections about 70% of the book is devoted to the History of the Artillery Locating Units of the Australian Army throughout all wars. The second section gives the history of the different methods and equipment used by those Locating Artillery Units. Historically there is an emphasis on the 131 132 & 133 Divisional Locating Battery RAA (Royal Australian Artillery). 131 Divisional Locating Battery RAA was operational in Vietnam War and after. Both Authors being Locators with the 131 or 133 Divisional Locating Battery.
World War One, Militia Artillery Survey Companies of the in between wars 1920 to 1939 are covered likewise the Australian Locating Units of WWII operating in New Guinea. Chapters are dedicated to the Buna Gona Campaign in New Guinea and Korean War.
As soon as artillery arrived on the battlefield, guns posed a threat to infantry and cavalry forces, as they cut swathes through men and horses alike. There was an urgent need for accurate counter-battery fire to neutralise enemy artillery and soon methods of locating their gun sites were evolving. Flash Spotters of the Great War, who detected enemy guns by observing their flash or smoke signatures, would be astonished by the capabilities of a modern systems and satellite communications. Sound-ranging was then developed to detect enemy weapons and target acquisition was born. No longer was there a reliance on the human eye to locate enemy guns and mortars. In Vietnam it was not all over to the use of radar. A common method was to physically find the flight angle of the artillery projectile from inspecting the bomb crater. The sapper would then need to dig for the nose fuze. The nose fuze was located by digging up to a mitre into the bottom of the crater. Once found, the fuze could be read and a path back to the firing base could be calculated by trigonometry methods.
A Nominal Roll of the 131 Divisional Locating Battery RAA with reunion named group photos complete this history.
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