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Everything posted by Kaunitz

  1. [Sorry for the double post, I was not able to put two separate spoilers in a single post] Interestingly, an account of such a “recon in force” attack exists also from a soviet perspective: Vasiliy Bryukhov, Red Army Tank Commander. At War in a T-34 on the Eastern Front (2013). The attack took place in September 1943, somewhere around Orel/the Kursk salient. The author, by that time in charge of a tank platoon (/I. btn/159. tank brigade/1. tank corps) can’t remember the name of the village. I have also found other descriptions of infantry-tank encounters. Interestingly, in most cases the tank lack close infantry support. I will see if I will add some more transcriptions of the more detailed/interesting accounts. One factor that strikes me as very important and yet is almost totally absent from CM is that the mere presence of tanks causes fear/suppression.
  2. Thanks for the recommendation for Try Otto Carius: Tigers in the Mud, Bulletpoint! I will take a look! Here is a description of a "recon in force" attack of T-34s on a german position. The account by Guy Sajer, Der Vergessene Soldat (my own translation into English). The credibility of Sajer's accounts has been discussed ielsewehere n this forum before. I have no real doubts that what has is described could have happened (in contrast to, e.g. Wolfgang Faus's Tiger Tracks). The one thing that I keep wondering about though is how Sajer could remember so many engagements in such a level of detail. Anyone know what that "anti tank MG" is?
  3. Has this already been posted somewhere? I suppose it will release quite closely to the new module? What a coincidence! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9WyzQLdw6g
  4. Another reason to go slow is that going fast is dangerous when you're almost blind (if the enemy's fire at your vision slits gets more and more accurate). Of course there are huge risks in fighting tanks at close combat. And above all, I guess the feats you see in the instructional movies are rather unlikely due to psychological reasons, due to fear. But infantry support for tanks can be lacking. Artillery might drive the infantry away or at least pin it, or the attacked infantry still manages to put some fire down, despite the presence of tanks. The thing I really found interesting is that the tank crew acted as their own infantry support, dismounting to peek around the corner. I will see if I can find accounts of actions that are more relevant to the topic here. I.e. tanks (+infantry) attacking vs. prepared infantry. Even though these are just anecdotes, they might help us get a better feeling the "effectiveness" of tanks. In many US accounts, combined tank+infantry attacks are mentioned quite often, but in no great detail. I also found an account by a german parachute engineer who mentions that a single "Ofenrohr-Trupp" (stovepipe=Panzerschreck-squad), consisting of 3 Panzerschrecks, knocked out 13 attacking Shermans... Unfortunately, the action itself is not described in much detail. @IanL I just listed all the points, no matter how "established" they are. As for the fortifications, you probably know my personal opinion. Regarding the MGs, I rather think that non-tank-MGs are a tad too inaccurate. Bulletpoint and I had a PBEM in which his plentyfull light MGs (german Aufklärungstruppen) were fighting three of my heavy MGs for about 25 minutes at a range of 700-800m. I think in total, the MGs of both sides caused about 3 casualties. Now, I'm generally speaking a big fan of low casualty numbers. But here, it seemed a bit too low. All the troops were in the open (but prone), but I have to admit that there were some factors involved that reduced the effectiveness of the fire (my hMG sometimes suffered from a lack of binoculars, the terrain was sloped and all MGs were firing on the opponent frontally). Still it seemed perhaps a bit too ineffective. (Before you ask: the light and medium mortars I had proved highly ineffective against the spread out and still mobile germans; the frontal hMG fire was not sufficient to pin them long enough). A whole platoon crossing in 3 minutes seems extremely fast to me! Maybe at some point I can find a volunteer to try out the "greater reaction intervals for tanks" rule in a PBEM.
  5. Browsing through memoirs in the search for infantry vs. tanks, I found this to be one of the most detailed accounts. Granted, it is not overly usefull for our context here as it all happened in an urban environment. But as it is such an interesting read, I wanted to share it here. The scene is January 21, 1945. B company, IV. btn, King's Own Scottish Borderers (155th brigade, 52nd Lowland Division) was ordered to attack into the town of Waldfeucht at the dutch-german border. The commander of the company’s 10 platoon, Peter White, has left us this account of the action which highly interesting in its various details for anyone interested in the gruesome combat experience during WWII. It also seems to have made a lasting impression on him, given that he made drawings of the action. The whole memoir and some of the drawings are published under the title “With the Jocks. A Soldier’s Struggle for Europe 1944-1945”. Highly recommended! Warning: The account is rather graphic.
  6. Yep. I've encountered that problem as well in my "vast valley" map. Preventing this kind of accidental/unwanted dead ground unfortunately requires quite a lot of work in the editor. This also occurs on otherwise very realistic scenario maps.
  7. Thanks for all the interesting input so far, guys! I can't answer all the individual posts, instead here is a quick update of the points that have been made so far, in no particular order: Lack of protection for infantry (the current fortifications don't offer sufficient protection, we can't fortify houses, can't move along trenchlines, fortifications give away positions earlier, etc.) AT fortifications (mines, at obstacles) are overprized in quickbattles (these should be cheap enough to funnel tanks into killzones; right now, the funneling costs more than the actual AT assets...) plausibility of force selection (tanks in CM always have infantry support) tanks are too aware of their surroundings/ease of tank-infantry coordination (borg-spotting, area-fire, sound "spotting")* tank MGs are too accurate map size (engagements on quickbattle maps are practically all set at point blank range) No threat of surprise, once you've overcome the enemy (Anti)Tank assets, you're realtively free to roam around My initial point about the lack of close combat anti tank weapons for infantry was wrong. At close quarter, infantry is very effective against tanks with its grenades (which also represent mines, Molotov cocktails,...). -------------------------------- Good point about the engagement ranges we typically see in CM. I'm still on my campaign for more realistically sized quickbattle maps. Scenario maps are much better as they're based on actual maps/landscapes. But the quickbattle maps are much too dense and compartmentalized. My suspicion is that they got stuck in Normandy, while the CM titles moved on to less restrictive terrain. Many quickbattle maps don't even offer positions suitable for basic support weapons such as hMGs, as the lines of fire are simply too short, and the terrain too hilly/wavy (severely hampers the usefullness of MGs, lack of grazing opportunities). In general, I don't like what the forced point blank range does to the game (takes away from the spotting mechanism, ambush situations everywhere, no option for retreats --> implausibly high casualties, small engagement "theatres/compartments" can be controlled with ease by few assets, speculative arty barrages can be too effective if terrain features are very small, etc). Yes, the rules about limited waypoints and limits on area-fire would perhaps help a bit. But they don't really tackle the core of the problem imho. What about the suggestion I've made: (buttoned-up) tanks may only receive new orders (including target orders) every second (=even minute) turn. I think this rule would help to make coordination between infantry and tanks a bit more difficult/brittle? Tanks would of course still react by means of the tac AI (pop smoke & reverse...). Area fire would become a bit less effective: You typically don't want to fire at a single target for 2 full minutes as this wastes ammo and makes you vulnerable, so you're more likely to use target briefly commands, which means that the rate at which tank support "develops" is slowed down a bit? Also, it would slow down the tanks' rate of advance (if the infantry happens to get pinned, how far do you want your tank advance alone/isolatedly during the next 2 minutes?). And it would make tanks a bit more vulnerable in close combat (enemy infantry approaching? You want to reverse? You can do so ... in a minute. ). I think that tinkering with reaction intervalls is the best way to simulate a tank's lack of awareness and mitigate the player's god powers when it comes to coordination. It's the only way I see to add a bit more chaos to the game. You let unforeseen situations develop and simmer for a bit longer, so to speak, take away some power from the players who otherwise have an easy time to jump out of/break off unfavourable situaions. You add a bit more "real time" aspect. On the other hand, it might just make players overly cautious with their tanks. Maybe an even higher reaction intervall would encourage players to risk their tanks more? If the reaction intervall is 4 minutes and you're overly cautious with your tanks, you're basically wasting them. With just two minutes, by contrast, the balance between "keeping the tank alive" and "exploiting its offensive power" is still too good? I think "slowing down" tanks would also be a good way to represent the awareness problem and the communication issues betwen tanks (communication via radio also takes time...). It could even give a defender time to move an ATG into position (for various reasons, including the player's reaction intervall, this is not really possible in CM - the ATG will get knocked out before it is in position). In quite a lot of eyewitness accounts, tank attacks seem to have been far less carefull than what we typically see in CM. It was more like "make or break". And it was not uncommon to see tanks (accidentally, due to the speed difference?) lead the infantry (in CM, it's always the other way round). But of course that might also be the case because in a CM game, you simply know that some form of ATGs will be present on the battlefield. Understood this way, I'm perfectly fine with time compression. Basically what you're saying is that the time in between the "action" (reorg, take a breath, update status on radio, etc) is compressed. It reduces the opponent's time window to react / shift reinforcements a bit, but that's not really a big problem given the rather small scale of CM battles.
  8. Just because you're mentioning "shells": For the main gun, it would make sense if tanks get good results very quickly (gunsight)? But for the tank's MGs not so much? I'm not really informed on the sights that were used for MGs on tanks (if any). Both types would also use tracer ammo to observe the fall of the shots? So I guess that both infantry and tank MGs would be "on target" with their beaten zone rather quickly*. But the problem with infantry MGs seems to be that they never reach the point at which they are "on target", if I understand Bulletpoint correctly? ----------- * This also opens up another faintly related question, namely at what distance the beaten zones of MGs are "best" in terms of the effectively suppressed area. There is a reason why MGs are best used at larger distances or from enfilading/oblique positions with grazing fire. It's worth mentioning that some tripods had features to modify the beaten zone. (Search for "Tiefenfeuerautomat" on wikipedia's MG42 page (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MG_42)). It's also worth mentioning that it seems as if hMGs may sometimes still have been used as they often were in WWI, indirectly from defilade positions quite far behind the frontline, a bit like artillery. I wonder if this was particularly true for dedicated "MG battalions". What about "offmap hMG" units? Diagrams of beaten zones and various distances can be found for the Browning Machine Gun here: https://www.bevfitchett.us/browning-machineguns-m1919a6-m37/chapter-introduction.html Recommended reading: George T. Raach, A Withering Fire. American Machine Gun Battalions in World War I (2015). It includes a chapter on the "theory of fire".
  9. To be honest I don't buy the "time compression" argument anymore. If time was compressed, then why don't units run out of ammo three times faster, why don't units reload more quickly (cover narrow arcs of fire more reliably), why don't they move three times faster (is space compressed too? If so, many things don't make any sense at all...), etc. etc. "Time compression" is just the standard go-to argument whenever the topic "excessive infantry casualties" pops up. But this is not the result of time compression. It's the result of many factors, some of which are discussed here. The idea behind this thread is exactly to discuss this very question: Are infantry and tanks in a good place right now in regards to their "deadlyness" (against each other)in specific situations? Arguments can be based on both, realism and game balance.
  10. Sidenote: I also forgot to link the most famous of these little instructional videos, "Men against tanks". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ykb6Bdb6bcI (info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Männer_gegen_Panzer)
  11. I thought I need to post this separatedly, as it is so important and I can't edit the initial post: My point about the lack of AT close combat means is not valid. As it turns out, ordinary grenades are very effective in close combat against tanks in CM. 2-3 grenades will destroy the tracks and may even knock out a tank. In my quick test (US infantry in CM:FB), 3 ordinary HE grenades knocked out a Tiger somehow. I'm not quite sure how, as no hit info shows up in "grenade close combat" and the only damaged/destroyed part of the tank were the tracks. Anyway I think it's safe to conclude that weapons for anti tank close combat (mines, cocktails) are represented by ordinary grenades? Thanks for the support. It's not my intention to make tanks worse because I suck at fighting them (which may still be true, I'm afraid). I'm really more concerned about how the game plays, whether what we see is "realistic", encourages players to use proper WWII tactics and/or makes for a good game. But it was to be expected that most answers would give me tactical advice. Regarding your last point: Are you implying that tank MGs currently are more accurate than infantry MGs? It depends a lot on what type of infantry MG as light/medium/heavy infantry MGs differ a lot in regards to their accuracy and rate of fire over distance in Combat Mission. It's just that this difference is hardly ever noted except on large/open maps.
  12. I was aware that the soviet AT teams had special grenades that do not show up anywhere in the UI (http://community.battlefront.com/topic/133362-tiny-details-you-might-have-missed/. But I didn't know that all infantry units have them? If so, I have to delete that point from my list. Hold my beer, I need to run a few tests... I'd also love to see an early war title some day! For example, I love all the goofy stuff the Italians have in Fortress Italy. But generally speaking, I think that players can coordinate tanks and infantry too easily in CM. It's not just related to area-firing at targets the tank crew is unaware of. It's also about reacting to friendly and enemy movements. E.g. let's assume a tank's "support infantry" suddenly stops because it gets pinned down by small arms fire, does the tank automatically stop? If the tank crew can't see its friendly infantry in this very moment (because the tankers' eyes are directed towards the enemy in front), then it should probably move on! I've stumbled over quite a few instances in eyewitness accounts in which this kind of infantry-tank coordination failed quite horribly. But it's hard to recreate this in Combat Mission games. There is nothing you can really do about the player's god powers in a game. An idea would be to somehow implement different reaction intervals for tanks (e.g. 2 minutes?) and infantry (1 minute, as usual). This would also help a bit against the area-fire problem. Note that tanks would still react to threats and retreat by means of their tac AI. One could even link the reaction intervals to equipment (telephones for infantry support, radios for tank-tank-coordination) and tank status (buttoned up or not). I think such a limitation would resemble the difficulty of coordination better. Any volunteers for an experimental test battle with this rule? ("You may only give new orders to buttoned-up tanks (or delete old orders) in uneven minutes.") I'm with you regarding fortifications not providing nearly enough protection against small arms fire (and artillery) either. Good point about sound spotting, which unfortunately is not part of the Fog of War in CM. Interestingly, I find that playing larger and more open maps help a bit with the overall feeling of the engagements and also with tank combat. If you're used to playing mostly quickbattle maps, then they usually feature very dense terrain with short lines of sight. As a result, there are relatively few positions from which the enemy can see you and fire at you at any given time. These few positions can be controlled with relative ease. Things change when you multiply the number of potential enemy positions, as it is the case on a larger/open map. You can't deal with all positions at once, there is an overflow of potential targets and greater distances mean that spotting is less reliable. Spotting and targeting becomes more "chaotic" in general, casualties more "attritional" rather than "shock". Advancing with infantry is a question of the incoming enemy "volume of fire". In these circumstances, it's actually a bad idea to let tanks area-fire (i.e. focus their attention on one point, so to speak), as there are many possibilities offsides your tanks current angle of vision for new threats to show up. Also, thanks to greater distances (=lower lethality), you have a chance to set up support weapons even when the battle is already on, because chances are high that the enemy is still firing at some of the many other targets. Under short LOS conditions, by contrast, fire fights are decided by elimination in a matter of 2-3 minutes. Anything that "arrives late" is spotted instantly and knocked out.
  13. Hey Hapless! I love your videos. And I've linked your video about "Bunkers for dummies" many times in many forums. Many of your questions are linked to each other, so let me present my thoughts summarily. Positions become "exposed" to direct tank fire once the enemy has beaten your long range AT assets and can therefore let his armor advance far enough to get LOFs on your enfilade defensive positions. Must something have gone "wrong" for this to happen? I don't know. Sometimes you lose the long range tank combat, sometimes you win. It's also (not exclusively, of course) a matter of luck and force selection. You've bought many smaller calibre ATGs and the enemy shows up with 1 Tiger. Good luck with keeping the Tiger at bay (if you find a way please tell me )! You've bought a single large calibre ATG? Now you are more of a threat to the Tiger, if your gun is positioned on what happens to be the right side of the map and can see the Tiger that is! Unfortunately, good ATG positions are preferred targets for speculative arty barrages, and you can't do a lot to protect the ATG. Fortifications are not reliably, and moving the ATG into position only once the shelling is over is bad as the gun loses its camouflage bonus (and also it might be too late!). And if your enemy brings 6 light tanks instead of 1 Tiger, then good luck with your single ATG. This is also the reason why underpowered AT assets sometimes need to engage overarmored tanks. As demonstrated above, sometimes your (A)T force selection is no match for your opponent's (A)T force selection. This doesn't mean that your force selection is neccessarily bad. Just that it is bad against this or that combination, and good against other combinations. (A)T force selection is often guesswork and can have a big impact on games. From my own experience and also from watching CM AARs, I often get the impression that (anti)tank duels are decided one way or the other at some point. There is hardly ever a stand-off that lasts until the end of the game - at some point the attacker will need to attack and both players have to show their cards. This decision then quickly shifts the balance of the game. The idea for this thread here is also to make games last and stay interesting beyond this point. If the attacker is out-armored by the defender, then it's obviously game over. But a defender could very reasonably keep kicking from his prepared defensive positions, try to seperate the tanks from the infantry. Under the current conditions, I think this is not possible. PS: Forgot to add the american "Crack that tank" video: https://youtu.be/EngDMNRoqvE
  14. I think our ideas of the overall capabilities of tanks differ a bit. To get us on the same page, I'd want to emphasize again that It's about WWII tanks, not Cold War era or even more modern tanks. Of course tanks were equipped with sights. But the more you zoom in, the more you lose in terms of peripheral vision. If you zoom in, you only see a tiny part of the world outside. Apart from the sights, your only other option in a buttoned-up tank are vision blocks/slits - these were usually fired upon by infantry. So I stand by the point that buttoned up tanks were pretty blind for their more immediate surroundings, which is exactly where it gets dangerous (can't lower your weapons!). As far as we know, CM features an indepth system to simulate the vision of individual crew members, but then fails to capitalize on this awesome feature by allowing players to let their tank (area) fire at targets that the tank crew has not spotted. Of course attacking a tank in close combat is a risky, suicidal thing. If I had god powers and could change CM in any way I wanted, no matter how diffult, I'd give tanks a psychological impact (+X to suppression meter if within X m of enemy tank). Objectively, we'd need to present figures how often these assaults occured, and in what circumstances. I'm not sure whether either of us has the expertise or the time for that (if such statistics even exist...). I could only search for anecdotal ""evidence"" in the eyewitness accounts/memoirs I own, and may add some to this thread when I feel like it and find the time. But I can imagine that engaging enemy infantry in close combat without friendly infantry support was not a very happy situation for tankers either, so retreating might have been a more comfortable solution (in which case no assaults are neccesary in the first place...). By shaped charge projectors you mean bazookas, panzerschrecks, panzerfausts, AT rifle grenades? It depends, but I also think that tanks are probably a bit overused in CM. I guess it's the "tabletop" effect: players just want to have a little bit of everything in their little armies. A well "rounded" force, so to speak. This does not always seem very plausible from a realism point of view but is quite understandable. But full tank platoons/troops in support of an attack are not that unreasonable anymore. StuGs in particular seem to have been attached on infantry even in individual vehicles quite commonly. I don't see how the point about Paks being unable to hit tanks is relevant to the topic. PS: Just for your entertainment, here are two WWI clips on anti tank close combat. I don't post them as proof. I rather believe that their existence testifies the tanks' psychological effect on infantry. https://youtu.be/9iL_6IyH9gs (canadian/Walt Disney) https://youtu.be/uonceDBABAQ (german)
  15. When I was thinking about house rules for quickbattle-setups, I also noticed how many advantages the CM engine seems to give to tanks in the WWII setting, particularly in quickbattles. Let's discuss! Here are the points why I think tanks are overly strong in CM: broken fortifications (in reality, there was not much a tank could do against infantry in a foxhole/trench, other than trying to "burry" it by spinning around over the foxhole or throwing grenades from hatches; in CM, you can just lob a few shells at the infantry, job done) totally overpriced tank obstacles and AT mines, no AT ditches borg-spotting/area-fire which helps tanks a lot (the main weakness of tanks was their limited vision; this weakness is inexistent because players can let their tanks area fire at targets the crew has not spotted) almost total lack of anti-tank close combat means (in most formations, AT grenades come in ridiculously low numbers; there are neither Molotov cocktails nor mines to be carried on the men - satchel charges are only available to dedicated engineer units). lack of a "reinforcement" mechanic in quickbattles, so that a player can manoeuver freely with his tanks once he is certain that he has defeated the opponents (anti)tank assets. There is no risk of new, dangerous units showing up. Also, I'd sometimes wish that "underpowered" AT assets would actively attempt to stop "overarmored" tanks by actively targeting their tracks. I prefer an immobilised tank over a tank which has been hit by a deflecting shell (with a tiny or inexistent chance of penetration). In combination, the following points lead to a loss of immersion/realism and also to a loss of viable tactics. For example, when advancing in combination with tanks, attacking infantry could still be engaged by the defending infantry, because the defenders would have more protection from their fortifications and the tanks would still have troubles to identify targets. So the defenders could try to fend off the tanks' infantry support (note that this usually only works on realistically large maps on which the attacker needs to advance in the open for some distance). If advancing without infantry, tanks could only "pass through" defending infantry, but not defeat it all alone as it is the case right now.
  16. Uh, I've heard the word Primosole! Slightly off topic, but if you want more info about the context, take a look at my scenario project: http://forums.lnlpublishing.com/threads/the-battle-for-catania-primosole-bridge-sicily-july-1943.5326/#post-30142 (post with pictures of the actual bridge shortly after the battles)
  17. Short note on the adjust tool: I had to discover that it unfortunately does affect the overall slope as the editor recalculates all heights after every "height input". So the way to do it is still very tedious: I first "lock in" the initial (calculated by the editor) transitions (all points where one height is adjacent to a different height). And then I fill in the rest in between them. I'm a bit busy right now, I will come back to this project as soon as possible.
  18. I think this is correct. But don't overestimate the number of PG battalions that were actually armored ("gepanzert"). Most were just motorized, as far as I know. Do these armored PG btns have a rarity rating? ---- From my understanding, Panzergrenadiere are not called "Panzer" (armored/tank) because they themselves were armored (which wasn't the case very often), but rather because they were the infantry that formed part of the armored divisions (Panzer-Divisionen), who themselves were a mix of tank regiments (Panzer-Regimenter) and infantry regiments (Panzer-Grenadier-Regimenter). Accordingly, in the early stages of the war, the infantry in armored divisions were just called "Schützen Regimenter" (rifleman/fusilier regiments) and had the same corps colour as the tankers (i.e. pink). Later on they were re-named into "Panzergrenadiere" and received their own special corps colour (green).
  19. Well yes, it seems as if many nations had roughly a similar idea. Assault artillery were pretty much the tanks of infantry formations and were often distributed in very small junks - even down to single vehicles! - among individual infantry units. Proper tanks (or the British cruiser tanks), by contrast, were preferably used in massed armored formations as an exploitation force. So it's also an operational difference. Understandably, this aspect is not really present in the tactical engagements portrayed by Combat Mission games. What I wonder is why it was still deemed neccessary to keep at least some of the weird self propelled howitzers. For example: As a reason for the design of the german Sturmhaubitze (assault howitzer), one can often read that the new, long-barreled StuG-designs could no longer fill their former infantry support role as well as the early, howitzer designs had. So what is it exactly that makes a vehicle better suited for infantry support? Does this just refer to the stronger punch of the howitzer against defensive positions? Was the difference between the 75mm gun and the 105mm howitzer really as big to warrant a separate vehicle?
  20. I sometimes ask myself how often these kinds of close quarter ambush positions were really used. To me, they seem a bit suicidal. True, you might knock out a few enemies, but your chance to get away after that (or to get away with a crew-served weapon) were probably rather slim? I would not volunteer to man an ATG that was supposed to fire at tanks at close quarter. Setting up troops in highly "effective" but suicidal positions is something that can't really be prevented in CM. Pixeltruppen don't have a high degree of tactical awareness and no will of their own except when panicking. That's not to say that it never happened in reality. Fanatic or naive units sometimes did set up in suicidal positions. Some of them were not even "effective", as demonstrated by an example quoted and translated from Joseph Klein's book "Fallschirmjäger", from the chapter on the third battle of Monte Cassino:
  21. Yes, I spent a bit more time on internet research and, for example, found this info on one of the more common german fuzes, which would also trigger when the shell just grazed: http://michaelhiske.de/Allierte/UK/Handbook/Pamphlet12/12_003.htm So it seems that close support (i.e. well armored, directly firing) low velocity assets* posess only few advantages: higher explosive power - this was their main advantage; they were required to be capable to collapse a house with only a few shots; this can also be handy in CM games against enemy positions behind houses...; in order to achieve the same explosive power with a long-barreled gun, you'd need to bring a huge calibre, which would not fit into any tower or hull... firing above the heads of friendly infantry (that's a rather questionable advantage...) better at targeting positions on reverse slopes (but again, these assault howitzers were supposed to fire directly...) Disadvantages: less accurate/harder to aim (they would typically "bracket" their target) smaller armor penetration power (but they often had a stock of hollow charge rounds; also the high HE power of HE howitzer shells would often manage to disable enemy tanks in some way) slower reloading (in some cases, the cartridge and the shell were separate) ................... * How common these were is another topic. I'm refering to self propelled howitzers like the german early (short barreled) StuGs (7.5cm howitzer), later on the StuHs (10.5cm howitzer), the Sturmpanzer (15cm howitzer). The Russian SU-122 (12.2cm howitzer), SU-152 (15.2cm howitzer). As an "infantry tank", the early British Churchills (I, II) also came with a 76mm howitzer. The US had their M8 motor howitzer carriage (7.5cm howitzer) and a 10.5cm howitzer vairant for the Sherman. Generally speaking, the history of "assault artillery" (german "Sturmartillerie", slightly similar to the British "infantry tank" concept?) is a rather confusing topic. I understand that these units were more often found as part of infantry formations than as part of tank formations, although by no means exclusively. (Some of the later/long-barreled StuGs were just used like tanks in tank formations; The US. assault howitzers were assigned to tank regiments). They were also organised as artillery, not as tank formations (german StuGs in batteries and battalions) They were supposed to support infantry, primarily in the attack. They would target MG nests, ATGs, artillery positions and other positions that prevented the infantry's advance, especially if these targets were for some reason out of the friendly artillery's reach. The StuH proved to be very effective at fighting these positions up to a range of ca. 3.500m. Thanks to their high explosive power, they were particularly usefull against strong enemy positions and/or buildings. Unlike "proper" self-propelled artillery, assault howitzers were used for direct firing and therefore had to operate close to or at the front line (--> heavy armor required). They were also expected to fill the AT role if needed. While most early designs' howitzers/guns were quite capable of dealing with any enemy tank in the early stages of the war, the armor race meant that assault howitzers quickly fell behind. Some designs (StuGs) were updated accordingly with high velocity guns at the cost of the howitzer's higher explosive power. I aslo suppose that their AT role was more pronounced in the attack - in the defense, the infantry would preferably rely on its ATGs? Unlike tanks, assault howitzers were not supposed to carry out an attack on their own. So I suppose they were used in the way that most CM players are already using tanks right now. This also meant that the side armor was not such a big concern for assault howitzers as it was for tanks.
  22. Here's one more thing I keep asking myself. Again, I have no real info on it except for what the internet tells me. I'm just wondering: Did HE shells fired by high velocity guns explode as reliably as those fired by low velocity guns? The reason I'm asking is that one could assume that the flat angle does not trigger the impact fuze as reliably? I mean the tank's muzzle is quite high up (-->tower), which helps to increase the impact angle? But at longer ranges (angle becomes smaller) or if the target is at the same height as the muzzle, there might have been problems, especially if the ground was soft...? I have no clue at what angles those impact fuzes stopped working...? This would perhaps be an important aspect for the differentiation between high velocity and low velocity assets (e.g. assault howitzers) in the game? Interesting link on the different explosive charges: https://www.quora.com/Could-WW2-anti-tank-guns-fire-HE-shells-like-normal-guns-could-or-were-they-less-effective-for-firing-this-type-of-shells Types of fuzes, impact angles: http://www.poeland.com/tanks/artillery/fuzes.html // dispersion pattern: http://www.poeland.com/tanks/artillery/dispersion.html PS: It seems that some HE shells during WWII were already equipped with more sophisticated fuzes that were also triggered if the shell just grazed (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contact_fuze --> "double-acting fuze"). I wonder how common these more sophisticated fuses were.
  23. Thanks for all the info so far, guys! So it seems as if my assessment about artillery was roughly right? Regarding guns (long barrel, high velocity) and howitzers (short barrel, low velocity), there would be differences in the firing angle and the explosive power. The angle is not portrayed in CM (both come in at a very steep angle). The angle matters as it would create dead ground that artillery can't reach (depending on the terrain and the distance and position/relative height at which the arty is firing), it would affect the chance to hit into trenches, and also it would determine the chance for riccochet fire (coming in at a very flat angle, shells with delay-fuses would bounce off the ground before exploding, resulting in a more effective air burst). We're unsure whether howitzer shells have a higher explosive power in CM compared to gun shells of the same calibre. Regarding the germans, I don't think that the scale is a real issue (batteries vs. battalions/Abteilungen). You can just buy more batteries to simulate a battalion. Would you really prefer not to have battery-strength "un-organic" (i.e. not including the infantry's regimental guns) artillery assets available during force selection? From this and the fortifications thread, I also take away that some people are of the opinion that artillery (and also indirectly firing mortars??) is too accurate and should not be allowed to fire "line" or "point" missions in WWII titles. It seems reasonable to me, but of course it should be backed up by actual data. The question of calibre size is also an interesting topic. The overall lack of fortifications makes larger calibres less worthwhile. Just a small example (from wikipedia): The StuG III's long-barreled 7.5cm gun fired shells containing 0.68 kg of explosives, while the StuH's (assault howitzer) short barreled 10.5cm howitzer fired shells containing 1.75kg explosives (shrapnel would be effective up to 10m to the front and 35m to the sides of the explosion). So the difference is much larger than the calibres suggest. The howitzer fired more than double the amount of explosives. Another aspect that needs to be pointed out: In reality, troops in proper defensive positions would seek shelter in their dugouts during artillery barrages and return to their fighting positions after the shelling. This is a kind of large scale suppression typically caused by the massed artillery rolling barrages that so often preceeded an attack, with the attacking infantry hoping to overcome the enemy's fighting positions before the enemy had even returned. It's not handled by the game's suppression mechanics, but by the player giving orders to move to and from the dugouts. The problem with this is that crew-served weapons cannot be "remounted" in CM for some reason. It has been pointed out several times already in another context (many people would like to have a "fire and immediately hide/flee to safety" option). As a result, the crews have the choice between taking shelter and effectively losing their weapon or staying and getting killed.
  24. By the way, in case you haven't seen it, here is an interesting video on Soviet fortifications (starting at ca. 42:35): https://youtu.be/44KzYWq_3gw?t=2555
  25. Apart from a lack of properly working fortifications, map design plays a large part here too. A realistic map offers lots of small options for cover. It's hard to model that on maps, as the smallest height increment at your disposal is 1 meter and it also affects the neighbouring tiles. What is more, quickbattle maps typically lack important features like road embankments and drainage or irrigation ditches. Also, most quickbattle maps (except urban environments, of course) are way too "dense" with very short lines of sight. Fighting is always happening at point blank range, at which modern weapon systems are an overkill.
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