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YankeeDog

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About YankeeDog

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  • Birthday 10/19/1972

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  1. Correct; it's an M10 Tank destroyer with a 76mm/L50 M7 main gun. This is what the "M7" you're seeing in the UI is designating.
  2. To build on what Wart 'n' all said, I'm not sure where you're getting the idea there was an "M7 Tank Destroyer". The only U.S. Army combat vehicle with the nomenclature "M7" that was widely deployed in WWII was the M7 "Priest", which was a 105mm Self-Propelled Artillery vehicle, not a tank destroyer. On a few occasions, M7 Priests were employed as ersatz tank destroyers, but this definitely wasn't the M7's primary role. At any rate, in its "out of the factory" configuration, the .50 BMG mounted on the M10 tank destroyer was located on a pintle mount at the rear of the (open) turret lip. It was mounted there because it was primarily intended for AA use, the logic being that aircraft would more likely attack an armored column from the flank or rear so this is where you'd want the MG mounted in order to fire at attacking aircraft. However, with the MG mounted in this position it could not be aimed at enemy to the front of the turret by an operator standing inside the turret. It was possible for one of the TD crew, or even friendly infantry, to stand on the rear deck of the M10 and fire the .50 BMG over the turret at enemy to the front. Anecdotal evidence indicates this was done at times (most famously by MoH recipient Audie Murphy), but how often this was done is difficult to say, and for game purposes this kind of use raises difficult modeling issues. Among other things, an MG operator standing on the rear deck would be very exposed especially to any incoming fire from the flank or rear, so jumping out of the turret to fire the .50 at ground targets is definitely *not* be something that you'd want your TD crews doing all the time in all situations. Especially late war, as it became clear that the Luftwaffe was a minimal threat and German armor also became increasingly rare, M10 crews were sometimes known to move the .50 to an improvised mounting at the front of the turret lip, and/or scrounge additional MG(s) and mount them to the front of the turret lip for additional firepower against infantry. Ad hoc vehicle modifications like this were done by all sides in the war, but they're also something that's difficult for the game to model as there are often many possible variations and it's hard to state with any certainty which ad hoc modifications were at all common. BFC tends to be conservative and only represent ad hoc vehicle modifications that were known to be in widespread use, in the game. So as it is, in the game the .50 BMG on the M10 is currently of very limited use. The crew *will* use it against known enemy infantry to the rear of the vehicle, but this is an unwise tactical position to put your TD into, so in general you don't want to deliberately position your M10s in this way in order to get the MG to fire. With a low HE ammo load and no forward firing MG, the M10 is not a good anti-infantry weapon. Best to reserve it for the armor vs. armor fight if you can.
  3. During setup, don't worry about whether the HMG team is exactly in front of a window or not; the visuals aren't 100% WYSIWYG. Rather, DEPLOY the HMG team into the building, and then check what areas they can target using the TARGET command. Blue line = they can see and target the point where the cursor is. Bear in mind that the TARGET line is intentionally somewhat conservative; units will sometimes be able to spot and shoot at enemy units beyond what the target line shows, especially in areas where you get the "Reverse Slope No Aim Point" alert. If the MG's field of fire isn't to your liking, use the FACE command to change their deployment inside the building, and try again. During setup, deploying HMGs in buildings is instantaneous so you can play around with FACE as much as you please. You'll sometimes find that fairly small changes in facing have a dramatic effect on LOF, so it's worth playing around for a while and even trying some FACE orders that are as much as 90 degrees off your planned vector of engagement. Any way you slice it, though, there are usually limitations on the field of fire for an HMG in a building. This can be a good thing as a limited field of fire goes both ways -- it also limits the locations from which an enemy can directly fire back upon the HMG. But if you want a really wide field of fire from a building, for HMG types that are allowed to fire "semi deployed" such as the MG42, you may actually want to leave the HMG only semi-deployed in the buildings so that the gunner can move quickly from window to window in order to engage new threats.
  4. Ya... if you aren't getting your $ worth out of your sniper team, the problem is the commander at the keyboard, not the sniper team modeling. Their good spotting and high stealth can sometimes mean the best use of sniper teams is simply to put them in a spot with good concealment and observation, slap on a short cover arc, and see what they see. But if you do decide to engage, with intelligent placement it's quite possible to have a single sniper team take out a half dozen or more enemy without ever being spotted, and often valuable enemy (e.g., TCs, Infantry HQs, HW team members) at that. That's a pretty darn good return on a 2-man team. If you're expecting more than this you've been watching too many Hollywood war movies. As for Coy HQs, as suggested, sometimes it's worth the risk to push them forward and use them e.g., as artillery spotter, or to provide another local command HQ for some of the subordinate units -- especially on the defense this may allow you to cover more ground with the Company. But you need to keep in mind that the Coy HQ is a very important C2 link -- spotting info is passed between subordinate platoons by way of the Coy HQ. So it's often best to have him sit somewhere safe just be a comms hub.
  5. Bear in mind that the attack profiles the Ju-87G is capable of while carrying the 37mm cannons are not particularly steep, so it can't achieve very "flat" hits against the top armor of an AFV except in special circumstances such as when the AFV is on a steep incline. When carrying the 37mm gun pods, the Ju-87G is actually not a dive bomber -- to improve performance and reduce weight, the dive brakes were removed when the 37mm gun pods were carried, and the weight of the gun pods also dramatically reduced the ability of the aircraft to pull out of a steep dive quickly -- each gun pod weighed nearly 300kg and unlike a Stuka on dive bomb run, and the Ju-87G had to drag this weight all the way through the pullout rather than jettisoning it just before the nadir. So the typical Ju-87G attack profile was actually a shallow dive. Penetrations of e.g., the T-34 16mm deck armor might still be statistically possible, but at these aspects the side and/or rear plates (assuming a flank or rear approach to the target) would make up a much larger percentage of the target cross-section and therefore hits to these plates and/or the tracks and running gear would be much more common than top hits. However, at least if the pilot pressed this type of attack to close range, 37mm APCR from a Flak 18 probably could penetrate T-34 side or rear armor -- bear in mind that much of the effectiveness of the T-34's side armor especially comes from slope, and plunging fire from a 30-45 degree angle will negate much of this slope. It's still not a matchup that's particularly favorable for the shooter. In addition to being *really* hard to hit a small target like a T-34 with gunfire when moving at 300+ kph (and only getting a few seconds on target, and therefore only a few shots per run), the behind armor effect of 37mm APCR is not good. So a significant proporation of the penetrations achieved are going to cause only minor damage.
  6. Beyond the question of just how effective the Ju-87's 37mm cannon pods were at knocking out tanks, the other big problem with the Ju-87G was that it was, by late war standards, slow, not very maneuverable, not particularly well protected (either in the sense of its armor plating or in the sense of its defensive armament), and also difficult to fly due to the the weight of the gun pods slung relatively far out, away from the centerline under the wings. In the late war, Ju-87 pilots (of any variant) did not have a long life expectancy. My personal belief is the Rudel was an exceptional pilot who was able to get far more out of a fairly antiquated airframe than any of his contemporaries. We'll never know for sure exactly how much damage he caused on his sorties, but I think it's likely he scored more air-to-ground tank kills than any other WWII pilot, due to his skill and also due to the the fact that he was working in a very target-rich environment. But I don't believe the 500+ tank kills he claimed for a second. Maybe 1/10th that, as an upper range of the possible actual kills, and I wouldn't be surprised if it was a fair bit less than this. He was also extremely lucky. He was shot down or forced to emergency land by battle damage over 30 times, and any one of these could have ended up in his permanent disability or death. Theoretically, if it were possible to clone Rudel and crew an entire air wing of Ju-87Gs with him, I might consider it an effective combat aircraft. But outside this kind of science fiction, IMHO it was a middling to poor weapons system that could at times turn in a decent performance when in the hands of a very good pilot.
  7. Only if they share the same immediate parent HQ (usually, the same Platoon HQ, but sometimes a Section HQ); if so, the "Share Ammo" function will work as it does for all other types of ammo. Otherwise, no.
  8. ... and there you have a squad that will completely suck at MOUT. Clearing buildings and back-alleys is arguably one of infantry's most important jobs these days. The long-range, open terrain fight tends to be dominated by AFVs and FOs, but once the enemy gets in "under the floorboards" in a populated area, the only thing that can completely clear them out is infantry. For building clearing and other fights in constrained terrain, you want most of your infantry equipped with a short, lightweight, fully automatic weapon; something that's easy to quickly change engagement axis with and works well in close quarters. You also want a weapon that doesn't kick too hard so as to be easy to shoot from unbraced body positions. And want the basic infantry weapon to be small and light so soldiers can carry lots of grenades, RPGs, mouseholing charges, etc. M4 is ideal; M16 is a little too long, but good enough. M14 or anything similar is way too big. For MOUT, you do want a few shooters with higher caliber weapons (Scoped 7.62mm and 7.62mm GPMGs, even a few 12.7mm or similar or siper rifles) for penetration into cover and controlling the long-range axes of fire (down straight streets, for example). But you don't want these as your basic rifleman weapon; just a few of these higher caliber weapons per platoon is considered to be a good mix.
  9. And I recall that several of the units involved in the so-called "Blackhawk Down" incident went black on ammo before the ground convoy forced their way through and rescued them. If they had been carrying a 7.62mm weapon rather than a 5.56mm, they probably would have run out of ammo much sooner. So... which would you prefer, not being certain whether your last shot dropped some Ethiopian tribesman hopped up on khat, or running out of ammo entirely?
  10. Yep. Even in good conditions with soft ground, digging foxholes would only be applicable to the longest CM battles, and raises all sorts of modeling issues that make it not worth the time and effort (e.g.: What's the situational awareness of a unit that's busy digging? What about signature (e.g., how easily is a digging unit spotted)? How much fatigue is incurred? How long does it take to dig foxholes in various types of terrain? How much additional cover is a half-dug foxhole worth, if any? I could go on...) But for BotB specifically, digging new foxholes during a battle is WAY out of CM scope -- as a general rule, during the time period and in the area where the BotB was fought, the ground was frozen, meaning digging took even longer and usually required heavier tools than the typical infantryman carried. (There are accounts of combat engineers using demo charges to blast foxholes during BotB!) So foxholes and trenches are something that's either there at battle start, or not. I sincerely doubt this will change for the foreseeable future.
  11. I don't as much about other NATO member TOEs, but for U.S. Army this simply isn't true. It varies from force type to force type (e.g., Light Infantry, vs. Stryker Infantry vs. Airborne infantry), but most U.S. Army rifle platoon TOEs include two M240 GPMG teams in the Weapons Squad. The Squad DMs also have the option of carrying a scoped 7.62mm semi-auto rifle (typically a modernized M14), rather than a 5.56 weapon, something that's fairly common practice. So by TOE, the most common U.S. Army rifle platoon formations have at least two 7.62mm MGs that are more than capable of engaging at 900m+, and may have as many as three scoped 7.62mm rifles in the hands of the best marksmen in the platoon, also capable of engaging at these ranges. Now, it may be that in Afghanistan rifle platoons were sometimes leaving the M240s behind when going out on patrol, due to weight issues. I haven't heard of this, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is happening at least in some situations -- Hiking around Afghanistan's rough terrain with a 12kg GPMG and the heavier ammo it eats has got to be hard work. But then the problem is not lack of 900m+ weapons in the platoon as such, but rather the ability to carry such heavier weapons into the engagement. There are other reasons why the 900m+ engagement is problematic in Afghanistan for NATO. Among other things, at these ranges the location of a sniper, MG team, or even RPG team taking potshots at you is very difficult specify. You might get a general idea of the source of the fire, but nailing the source down to a specific building or pile of rocks can be difficult even with the help of modern optics and other whiz bangs. And since the Taliban often fight from positions in close proximity to civilians, ROEs can proscribe simply hosing down a large area that's a suspected source of incoming fire. Really, it's the same problem that limits the use of higher level assets like artillery and air support. Can't use the Big Hurt without risking civilian casualties, and causing civilian casualties loses you points in the "hearts and minds" game. Difficult tactical problem to solve, and not one that's solved by simply carrying more long-range 7.62mm weapons at the platoon level.
  12. I don't think this is correct; AFAIK the Javelin is autonomous fire-and-forget only; there is no SACLOS mode. There is "Fastball" attack option, which uses a flatter trajectory and is intended for very short range targets and also certain targets such as bunkers or buildings where a frontal hit rather than a top hit may be more desirable. But it is still automatic fire-and-forget in this mode. Since the Javelin's guidance system is completely passive (it emits no laser or radio waves or similar that the target can and so "know" it's "on the rails"), and the missile also doesn't fly directly at the targeted vehicle for most of the flight path, the big challenge for an APS system vs. Javelin is simply knowing it's being targeted before it's too late; on an active battlefield it's not practical for an APS system to simply fire at every single projectile in the general vicinity of the AFV.
  13. Actually, in the U.S. Military, as far as I am aware currently the most significant development activity in a caseless ammo weapon is in the Army's LMG project, which is 5.56mm. I'm sure the technology could easily be scaled up to 7.62mm, but this does nevertheless give you an idea of what Army's current thinking is regarding the whole 5.56mm vs. 7.62mm debate. If they're spending money and development time trying to make 5.56mm even lighter, then I really doubt they're very hot on the idea of adding more 7.62mm weapons to the rifle platoon's basic loadout, caseless or not.
  14. 5.56 will kill you quite easily; it has excellent cavitation characteristics which lead to a large wound channel. But regardless, yes; 7.62 is a larger, heavier round. It flies further, causes more damage, and penetrates cover more effectively. The essential problem with the idea of "retrograding" back to a 7.62mm weapon for the basic rifleman its that the modern infantryman's combat load is pretty much as heavy as it can get. If you want to swap the 5.56mm weapon out for a larger, heavier 7.62mm weapon with heavier 7.62mm ammo, to compensate, you have to do some combination of (a) carrying substantially less 7.62mm rounds than 5.56 rounds and/or ( carrying less other stuff -- less body armor, optics, electronics, rifle grenades, AT4s... you have to drop something. 7.62mm advocates seem remarkably unwilling to name what they're willing to give up in order to return to a 7.62mm rifle as the basic infantry weapon. This is why 5.56mm as the basic rifleman round isn't going to go away anytime soon. It may be supplemented by a 7.62mm weapon or two in the squad, but most soldiers are going to carry 5.56 for the foreseeable future. Another note: While I am aware the propaganda says otherwise, the fact of the matter is that the M27 is *not* the BAR reincarnated. The BAR weighs nearly double what the Garand weighs, which it why it was never practical to contemplate fully equipping squads with BARs; the BAR's bulk limited it to being (at most) a one per fireteam "base of fire" weapon. The M27, in contrast, weighs only very slightly more than the M16A4 (only about .3 kg more). It is also about the same size, uses the same mag, fires the same ammo, has similar ergonomics, and has more or less the same accessory mounts. It's just more reliable (lower jam/mis-fire percentage, especially in difficult conditions) and is more accurate, especially at long range. Which is why I maintain that what the USMC is actually attempting to do with the M27 "Infantry Automatic Rifle" program is finagle a backdoor way to replace the M16A4 with a better weapon. They knew they couldn't get the money to completely replace the M16 in a single procurement, but they could get enough money to replace the SAWs with M27s. So they played a shell game; they shifted the SAWs to the Rifle Company "Weapons Locker," from which they can be distributed back out to the rifle squads at any time, and are issuing the ~4,000 M27s they could get the money for to the rifle squads, meaning about 25% of Marine riflemen will be carrying M27s rather than M16s once the procurement is complete. My guess is that the long-term plan is to continue to push for more M27 purchases, until they have enough to equip all combat units with M27 as the basic rifle. By this time, the Army's LMG project, which has the goal of replacing the M249 with a lighter weapon firing lighter caseless ammo, may be complete, and the USMC can piggyback that procurement to get a better SAW.
  15. Eh... not exactly. What they realized is that a thin-walled shell with a higher HE load produces a large number of small, but very high velocity fragments. The velocity makes up for the small size and these fragments still have more than enough energy to incapacitate. In contrast, a thick-walled shell with less HE produces fewer, large fragments with a lower velocity. These large fragments are quite deadly but since there's fewer of them they don't cover the area of effect as thoroughly. Regardless, the primary wounding mechanism is still from the shell fragments, not the "blast." Even for a thin wall, high HE load shell, the lethal blast radius from something like a 75mm HE shell is very small and on average only produces a small percentage of the casualties against a typical infantry target. Casualty records show that the vast majority of casualties from artillery and other types of HE fire are shell fragment injuries, not blast-type injuries.
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