WW1 intermediate cartridge

I agree on the Ribeyrolles needing a smaller, lighter bullet. The French had designed a 7 mm bullet before the war. It should have used that one. I never cared for the Mauser cartridge case shortened. Too much case taper. They should have gone to a narrower case as a base. Lengthen the case to make up capacity. See the Czech 7.62x45 for a really nice case. It could have used more pressure and a smaller caliber bullet.
What do you think is too much taper? Seemed to feed fine from the magazine. Taper though could have been dispensed with nearly entirely if they had figured out fluting the chamber to aid extraction. Also wider base cases apparently allow for more efficient propellant burning and shorter actions. Plus with the type of powder they were making they needed that case capacity.

The problem too with going for a new cartridge case in wartime is the lack of machinery for it and the expense. Interwar that could be different, but post-WW1 there was a lot of left over ammo and budget cuts.

For the Czech bullet you mention, I agree, small caliber (say 6.5mm...) and it would be superb. Apparently the necked down 6.5mm Soviet 39mm case is also a good combo.

The problems for an intermediate LMG include its lack of range and penetration. The LMG is the center of the squad's firepower. You limit the entire squad without the extended range of the full power LMG.
So why has everyone moved over to the SAW concept and intermediate calibers for it, which are well below a full powered battle rifle round in terms of range and penetration?

The 7.65x20 is more powerful than the 9x17 and 9x18. It is less powerful than the 9x19 and 7.63x25. It results in a very nice SMG cartridge for trench use. Not a weakling.
Less powerful than a 9mm Parabellum is not really that great. It's fine for the Pedersen device out of a rifle length barrel in open country, but I'd rather a 9mm SMG or pistol in a trench.

Project SALVO's aim was to get more hits. The idea was to get two bullets out on the correct trajectory before the recoil effects spoiled the aim.
They tried a lot of ideas, including duplex and triplex bullets, flechette rounds, small caliber high velocity, etc.
It also figured out serious problems in terms of existing rounds and chance to achieve hits in combat conditions, which meant the full powered rifle rounds sucked unless in very specific, relatively limited applications.
 
call this serendipity,
he tore your ideas a new one in the same video @ 0:16:13 and 0:32:35
logistical capacity affects everything, and that's a massive veto on the the idea of trying to deal with providing 2 different rifle cartridges to the front lines
Except they did field multiple calibers in WW1, as did their allies. Just because the French opted to stick to their flawed pre-war ideas ammo post-WW1 doesn't mean that was the right choice. Of course they might have just been constrained by the cost of adopting a totally new caliber and cartridge, so could only afford to do 1 standardized cartridge, though with two different bullets, one for the machine gun, one for the rifle.

Also Ian gets some facts a bit off in his 16:13 answer about the STG, the reason the Germans had a problem supplying ammo (despite having no problems already doing so with 9mm SMGs integrated into the squad since 1938, aka two calibers) was the inability for industry to make the powder for the new cartridge thanks to bombing of the chemical industry once the STG was formally adopted in 1944. He should know that given that he reviewed the book Sturmgewehr!, which covers the ammo problem in detail in a chapter just on the cartridge, in an earlier video and talked about that issue in at least one STG video where he defended it from criticism in an article from TFB blog. That and Allied bombing of the rail system, which also made supplying even artillery with ammo very difficult and prevented the German from using theirs effectively from Normandy to the end of the war.

Not sure what the 32:35 really has to do with my points. Japanese industry was a mess in WW2 and no one cites them as an example of how to do anything military or production.

Like how the US Military found it impossible to move and keep troops on the pointy end well supplied with 5.56, 7.62, 9mm, 12 guage and .50 BMG?
To be fair in Vietnam they found at the squad level having two different calibers and a full powered MG to be too problematic, so they started the SAW program and standardized on the 5.56 for the squad, with the 7.62 MG as a platoon weapon. For WW1 and 2 that wouldn't really matter, as the Soviets, Chinese, and Vietnamese found that the 7.62x39 was just fine for squad and platoon use and mainly stuck to AK47s and RPDs. It was later only for mechanized units that they eventually added back PK MGs at the squad level since they wouldn't have to lug the ammo and weapons around on foot and were fine with at least two different calibers (maybe even three if you factor in the 9x39mm suppressed rifles that some used) mix in.

I just find it telling that the Soviets and German, which their vast combat experience, settled on the intermediate cartridge and were standardizing on those at at least the squad if not platoon level during and after WW2.
 
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The logistic problem is overated
In peace time, when you have massive stocks left over from a previous war or war scare, and are using about 1% of your stocks every year, changing calibers is expensive.
In war time, when you are expanding manufacturing anyway and use 100% of your production (in other words, you manufature to keep up with use and not to replenish stock) the idea of a progressive switch to a less expenive easier to produce round makes more sense (You have to make millions of rounds anyway).
If you're going to open up a new production line you assign that line to the new round, and progressively move output on factories from 90% old round 10% new round to 50/50 (the HMG will still be using the old round by the train load)
Same with rifle production. Progressively move from making the pre war rifle (to replace losses) to building the new one.
Remenber that in WW1 new fighter planes were being introduced once or twice a year, with little regard for cost.
Nobody said they wanted to keep the Albatross rather than upgrade to the Fokker D.VII for logistic reasons...
 
Actually, for the purposes of this thread, he does not negate the dual cartridge idea. He noted the effect on logistics from two different cartridges. The Germans attempted this in WW2, and found its faults. The Russians and Americans tried this later, switched to a single cartridge. If you have the logistics to handle two cartridges, then run two. If not, go with one. You already provide a full size cartridge for MMG/HMG and sniper rifles anyway. The LMG uses less ammo per gun than these. Only the overall usage increases due the sheer number of LMGs.

Note that Japan used two cartridges, with a variation of the 6.5 for LMG and sniper use, and a third for MMG/HMG use.
 
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Actually, for the purposes of this thread, he does not negate the dual cartridge idea. He noted the effect on logistics from two different cartridges. The Germans attempted this in WW2, and found its faults. The Russians and Americans tried this later, switched to a single cartridge. If you have the logistics to handle two cartridges, then run two. If not, go with one. You already provide a full size cartridge for MMG/HMG and sniper rifles anyway. The LMG uses less ammo per gun than these. Only the overall usage increases due the sheer number of LMGs.

Note that Japan used two cartridges, with a variation of the 6.5 for LMG and sniper use, and a third for MMG/HMG use.
You missed my reply and ignore the reality that the Germans had 9mm SMGs integrated at the squad level from 1938 on. They had a two caliber standard throughout the war! In fact they increased the number of SMGs and reduced the number of rifles until the STG 44. The reason the ammo problem with the STG happened was by the time Hitler ordered it into production it was too late and the bombing of the chemical industry and rail system meant that the new propellant required for the cartridge couldn't be manufactured in quantity, so had 15-20% more cartridges completed than the powder to fill them. THAT was the problem, not the two caliber standard. Well that and the bombing making it hard to bring up sufficient ammo, artillery was starved from the Normandy campaign on of ammo too.

LMGs increase firepower dramatically as well as use, while using less material per round and limiting how much you then need from MMG/HMGs.

Also the Japanese example is really not relevant, they were jacked up in too many ways to count.
 
Yes I was slow in reply. The Japanese made several mistakes. The Germans tried to get the StG into service before the ammo supply was ready.
The use of the 7.65x20 was actually fine for the French. Decent penetration, fairly flat trajectory, light weight gun with low recoil. Use in Vietnam was sub-par, but soldiers liked the light weight. The French switched to 9 mm as much to comply with NATO as to gain better effectiveness.
Yes, everyone, except the Japanese had a SMG requiring different ammo. The AK /SKS was the Russian solution.
 
Except they did field multiple calibers in WW1, as did their allies.
the long guns that used non standard ammo were issued to the rear line, purchased in relatively small numbers, and going mostly to non combat troops and the air corps
this is more akin to the way single shot rifles were used, filling in gaps in production in order to free standard rifles to go to front lines

the Germans had a problem supplying ammo (despite having no problems already doing so with 9mm SMGs integrated into the squad since 1938, aka two calibers) was the inability for industry to make the powder for the new cartridge thanks to bombing of the chemical industry once the STG was formally adopted in 1944. He should know that given that he reviewed the book Sturmgewehr!, which covers the ammo problem in detail in a chapter just on the cartridge, in an earlier video and talked about that issue in at least one STG video where he defended it from criticism in an article from TFB blog. That and Allied bombing of the rail system, which also made supplying even artillery with ammo very difficult and prevented the German from using theirs effectively from Normandy to the end of the war.

Not sure what the 32:35 really has to do with my points. Japanese industry was a mess in WW2 and no one cites them as an example of how to do anything military or production.
that's the point , france was in the same boat
after ww1 france spent their money on upgrading the rest of their armed forces, things like tank, aircraft, new ships, the maginot line, etc.
and only got around to small arms in the late 30's and even then they didn't finish with they had on their hands

adding the costs and time that they don't have to develop a brand new cartridge just for their rifle is not worth the stain on logistics
and it's not worth it after the war when they should be focused on getting their country back on its feet


everyone, except the Japanese had a SMG requiring different ammo.
nitpicky, nope, japan had the type 100 smg like most smg's of the period it was chambered in the same cartridge as their auto pistol
oddly enough the brits are the odd man out, they adopted 9mm for their smg's first and then adopted a 9mm auto pistol
Like how the US Military found it impossible to move and keep troops on the pointy end well supplied with 5.56, 7.62, 9mm, 12 gauge and .50 BMG?
comparing the modern us army to any army in the 30's is rather like comparing a cruise ship to a fishing trawler
 
the long guns that used non standard ammo were issued to the rear line, purchased in relatively small numbers, and going mostly to non combat troops and the air corps
this is more akin to the way single shot rifles were used, filling in gaps in production in order to free standard rifles to go to front lines
There were exceptions, but yes generally that was the case for the French at least.

that's the point , france was in the same boat
after ww1 france spent their money on upgrading the rest of their armed forces, things like tank, aircraft, new ships, the maginot line, etc.
and only got around to small arms in the late 30's and even then they didn't finish with they had on their hands
In their situation that makes sense, but they fucked up ridiculously hard pre-WW1 with dithering on their semi-auto rifle/cartridge program. If they had that worked out then it would have been easy to then develop and intermediate cartridge based off of it.

adding the costs and time that they don't have to develop a brand new cartridge just for their rifle is not worth the stain on logistics
and it's not worth it after the war when they should be focused on getting their country back on its feet
For WW2 France? Then it was an issue of finance rather than logistics or what actually worked well, but in terms of finance that was a choice they made.
France was quite wealthy after WW1 and had the largest or near largest gold stock in the world; in fact they couldn't rearm until late due to slavishly sticking to the gold standard and accumulating stocks to the point it actually caused problems for their and the global economy; by the time they then started liquidating gold to rearm it was FAR too late.
A large body of research has linked the gold standard to the severity of the Great Depression. This column argues that while economic historians have focused on the role of tightened US monetary policy, not enough attention has been given to the role of France, whose share of world gold reserves soared from 7% in 1926 to 27% in 1932. It suggests that France’s policies directly account for about half of the 30% deflation experienced in 1930 and 1931.
Basically the French royally screwed up in multiple ways in the interwar period, including creating the conditions for the Nazis to come to power:
 
nitpicky, nope, japan had the type 100 smg like most smg's of the period it was chambered in the same cartridge as their auto pistol
oddly enough the brits are the odd man out, they adopted 9mm for their smg's first and then adopted a 9mm auto pistol
The Japanese used about 16,000 SMG's total. The used over 7 million rifles during the war. Thus, they had almost no actual use for this type. It was not front line weapon unless you were a paratrooper. Even then, they used 21,000 paratroop rifles.
 
The Japanese used about 16,000 SMG's total. The used over 7 million rifles during the war. Thus, they had almost no actual use for this type. It was not front line weapon unless you were a paratrooper. Even then, they used 21,000 paratroop rifles.
If only they had embraced the assault rifle concept...
 
So this was interesting, as it really goes against what is usually stated about casualties in WW1:
Death by bayonet was very rare; poison gas, that terrifying new weapon, killed about 3,000 German soldiers. Artillery was by far the greatest killer in the war; about 58.3 percent of German deaths were caused by artillery and about 41.7 percent by small arms.[16]
That is a huge proportion and really does make it seem like improvements in small arms in that war could have a particularly outsized impact relative to even WW2.
 
So this was interesting, as it really goes against what is usually stated about casualties in WW1:

That is a huge proportion and really does make it seem like improvements in small arms in that war could have a particularly outsized impact relative to even WW2.
I have to assume that machine guns dominate the “small arms” number. I think it’s worth noting how many countries focused on getting newer better machine guns in the interwar period and went into WW2 with basically the same rifles they had in 1918.
 
I have to assume that machine guns dominate the “small arms” number. I think it’s worth noting how many countries focused on getting newer better machine guns in the interwar period and went into WW2 with basically the same rifles they had in 1918.
Yeah probably. Intermediate cartridges would improve MGs quite a bit though by improving mobility, allowing for less heat build up, lower recoil, allowing for lighter weapons, and allowing for more ammo to be carried. Especially with extended firing having more ammo and less heat build up is pretty huge, not to mention helping keep things less expensive.
But in terms of the interwar-WW2 rifles that was a function of cost. Everyone wanted semi-auto rifles, but very few could afford them, so they went the cheaper route and developed new, cheaper, and lighter MGs that were more reliable. The US was the outlier there, though they did try and modernize the older models with mixed results.

I'm just surprised no one (other than the US) didn't realize the value of an intermediate cartridge given the extensive operations research does during and after WW1. I guess that was an expense thing given that the assumption that it was either develop a new smaller caliber to gain the advantages from that rather than simply shortening the existing cartridges to gain a partial benefit or keep what they had to use all the WW1 stockpiles. I suppose the allure of the advantages of the caliber shift were so much that most militaries considered it pointless to do anything but that, but since they couldn't afford it just to stick to what they had because rearmament cost too much otherwise.
I'm not sure about the French, but it seems like everyone else was interested in a 7mm caliber shift, with the exceptions being Russia, which looked at the 6.5mm thanks to Fedorov, and all the other states that already had 6.5mm and considered moving up. Italy was the only one who tried with their 7.35mm cartridge for rifles, which was basically an intermediate caliber in power, barely more powerful than the 7.62x39:

I just don't get why they didn't try to upgrade the 6.5mm bullet, it would have been so much cheaper and easier to work with what they already had. Maybe a flawed understanding of 'stopping power'?
 
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I think pretty much everyone OTL interpreted WW1 lessons exactly the opposite way you have.
Several nations adopted new or modified cartridges before WW2 which were MORE powerful than their existing cartridges, often with machine guns as a primary consideration. Italy, Japan (x2), Norway, Sweden possibly others.
The US as always were a bit odd but my understanding is that in addition to their marksmanship obsession they believed they had the machine gun issue perfectly solved with the combination of M1917, M1918 and M1919 and so the rifle was the only missing piece.
France maybe went marginally weaker but their new round was by no means intermediate and their machine gun loading was plenty powerful.
 
I think pretty much everyone OTL interpreted WW1 lessons exactly the opposite way you have.
Several nations adopted new or modified cartridges before WW2 which were MORE powerful than their existing cartridges, often with machine guns as a primary consideration. Italy, Japan (x2), Norway, Sweden possibly others.
Italy did both. They adopted the weaker (despite being larger) 7.35mm Carcano round for most of their kit, and they adopted the monstrous 8mm Breda as a dedicated medium machine gun round.

It's really a good thing their guns were crap, because those would have been some nasty rounds.
 
Italy was the only one who tried with their 7.35mm cartridge for rifles, which was basically an intermediate caliber in power, barely more powerful than the 7.62x39:
I just don't get why they didn't try to upgrade the 6.5mm bullet, it would have been so much cheaper and easier to work with what they already had. Maybe a flawed understanding of 'stopping power'?
The Italians had realised the WW1 lesson that platoon engagements were rarely even as far as 300 metres in range. Thus they had wanted an 'intermediate' weapon but did not have the money to re equip their army with fancy weapons so the 7.35 was to improve stopping power at close ranges whilst using existing weapons. The rifles were still the 1890 ones but shortened drastically and given fixed sights set at 150 metres. Their LMG was also for conversion/new build in 7.35. Their MMG was already in it's own 8mm round powered for longer ranges. It was a sound choice for them in their circumstances but the changeover was thrown out after initial introductions by Bennie joining in the fun before Italian industry was ready. I didn't help that the LMG was one of the worst ever but the rifle was a sound bolt action.
 
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