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The Knot Will Hold

For the 320th
  • Also available as: E-Book, Perfect Bound Softcover
  • Published: July 2013
  • Format: Dust Jacket Hardcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 146
  • Size: 6x9
  • ISBN: 9781483667973

This is the story of the 320th Glider Field Artillery Battalion (GAFBN). It is also the story of virtue of the 105 mm howitzer. The 320th Battalion was one of several battalions in the Eighty-Second Airborne Division. There was the 319th, 320th, 325th battalions as well as the kitchen and headquarters battalions. Also, included in the Eighty-Second Airborne Division were several paratrooper battalions numbered in the five hundreds. The 320th was composed of six gun crews to man the 105 mm howitzers. Each crew consisted of a gun crew chief as well as five or six crew members. The 320th gun crew chiefs were Sergeant Tuzzie, the first gun crew, Sergeant Sackett, Sergeant Swain, Sergeant Sword, Sergeant Parker, and Sergeant Rehenquist. In each crew, there were two breech men and a soldier in charge of the lanyard. There were several sizes of howitzers. There was the 75 mm pack mule howitzer, the 105 mm howitzer, the 155 mm howitzer, and the 220 mm long-barrel howitzer. The 105 mm howitzer was the only one adapted to fit a glider to make it airborne. It was shortened to fit into the glider. It was at the infamous Mt. Casino in Italy, which had a sharp cliff with a drop of about nine hundred to a thousand feet, which the snub-nosed 105 mm howitzers were dug in, with their barrels pointing almost straight up. This cliff gave the enemy a complete view and control over the valley below. Their positions along the top made it almost impossible to shoot or hit either the men or emplacements. The small arms fires or shells would go over the ridge and land beyond their positions. From this angle at the base of the cliff, the artillery shells of the 105 mm snub-nosed howitzers could be landed along the ridge which made the Krauts, as they were called, scramble to get away from the devastating fire so accurately hitting their positions. It was learned later that the Germans had no idea where the shelling came from or why it was so accurate.

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