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John Kettler

119th Infantry soldiers crawl over hedgerow

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Yep, that's what I was saying earlier in the other thread - one thing I'm noticing is that while actually pretty effective for moving and spotting, the animation for the "move" command is a bit silly since the soldiers are so relaxed. Does look a fair bit more like the current "hunt", though!

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5 hours ago, CCIP said:

Yep, that's what I was saying earlier in the other thread - one thing I'm noticing is that while actually pretty effective for moving and spotting, the animation for the "move" command is a bit silly since the soldiers are so relaxed. Does look a fair bit more like the current "hunt", though!

Effective for moving? The "move" order seems to move at a snail's pace.. :)

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Moving like that is SOP.  When your in the vicinity of fast moving metal objects, ie bullets etc, never, ever, ever, ever, ever skyline yourself.  That's how you die quick.  I know it's been said before but CM's infantry movement is quite strict and linear in some ways, ie not moving tactically.  That clip above for example to do that in game it would have to be a 'quick' or 'move' order up to the hedgerow then a 'slow' command ie snail b***dy pace back in to quick or move.  Now in the video that little obstacle slowed those lads down not a jot and yet they were still moving tactically.

 

I have no idea how much work would be involved in making infantry movement more dynamic or even if it would fit BF's criteria of effort over reward but it is irksome at times not seeing infantry doing basic tactical movement over and around obstacles.

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^ I doubt the US green horns thought anything about any tactics for the first couple of months the green horns in Normandy were terrible, a lot were right out of high school facing veterans from the Eastern front.

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8 hours ago, user1000 said:

^ I doubt the US green horns thought anything about any tactics for the first couple of months the green horns in Normandy were terrible, a lot were right out of high school facing veterans from the Eastern front.

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that this was intentional, ie using greenhorns to do the assault landings on the beaches.  This was because veterans are good at keeping themselves alive because they new better, as in not taking big risks, going to ground, using cover etc.  However this is not what was needed for that type of assault hence the use of green divisions.  This choice cost more lives but it got the job done.  The hard choices of being a commander.

That being said even the green horns had gone through pretty extensive basic training and lessons learned in battle are hard and unforgiving but they are learned fast.

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2 hours ago, Doc844 said:

I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that this was intentional, ie using greenhorns to do the assault landings on the beaches.

They weren't entirely green. The 1st. Division, which was the other division on Omaha Beach, contained lots of veterans. They had been in the war since Torch, almost two years earlier.

2 hours ago, Doc844 said:

That being said even the green horns had gone through pretty extensive basic training and lessons learned in battle are hard and unforgiving but they are learned fast.

The 29th. had received extensive advanced training before the assault. I don't know much about the history of the 4th. but it would not surprise me if they got some too. And of course the 2nd. Armored had been around a long time and had been in Sicily in addition to some time in North Africa.

Michael

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On 5/11/2016 at 11:42 PM, user1000 said:

^ I doubt the US green horns thought anything about any tactics for the first couple of months the green horns in Normandy were terrible, a lot were right out of high school facing veterans from the Eastern front.

This is such a generalized and ultimately untrue statement.

Average age was 26 for US infantry in WWII, hardly just out of high school. They were so "terrible" that they were able to push back the German Army and SS. And yes, there were many Eastern Front germans in Normandy but there were also a lot of conscripts as well as very young soldiers that had never seen combat. As for thinking about tactics, I can simply point out that Easy Company's assault on Brecourt Manner was well planned by Dick Winters and the others that participated in the assault. 

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On 5/12/2016 at 7:33 PM, user1000 said:

^ training and actual war two COMPLETELY different things.

Yes, and the Allied troops in France in 1944 showed they were pretty darn good at it. 

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Never said they didn't win. They really didn't smarten up until after the hedgerows. A true baptism by fire, surviving the bocage every hour made you a veteran. Every day you would learn new ways of fighting and surviving in it. The tactics in hedgerows were not discussed in training in England. I recommend the book breakout and pursuit its a free pdf Here is an excerpt 


the 90th Division had also
seen its ranks depleted in the wearing
battle of the hedgerows. Less than six
weeks after commitment in Normandy,
the division's enlisted infantry replacements
numbered more than 100 percent
of authorized strength; infantry officer
replacements totaled almost 150
percent. In comparison to the veterans
who had fought in the hedgerows, the

replacements were poorly trained and
undependable, as soon became obvious

 

Edited by user1000

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23 hours ago, user1000 said:

They really didn't smarten up until after the hedgerows.

Not really true. All the time they were battling through the hedgerows they were experimenting with tactics and equipment to deal with them and the results of those experiments evaluated and dissimilated through the army. It only took about a month before the ultimate solution was found and another couple of weeks to have it set up for major execution. For such a big organization already fully engaged in combat, that is breakneck speed.

As far as not having prepared for the hedgerow fighting months earlier, yes that was an oversight and a big one. But when you examine all the rest that the staffs were having to do to get ready just to land troops on French soil and get them off the beaches, it becomes understandable why they failed to get around to what to do next. You have to understand that wars are fought by human beings and humans have all kinds of limitations. All armies commit blunders. The victors are the ones who survive and overcome their mistakes. Rommel said of the Americans he faced in Tunisia that, "No army ever started so green or learned so fast." He was pretty much right on both counts and it is worthwhile to study why the second part of his statement was true.

Michael

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Devon exercises were practicing beach landings (Exercise Tiger) - The primary training concern was preparing for pulling off the beach assault. Though a small village, Tyneham in Dorset, was requisitioned as a tank firing range prior to D-Day  Other training for Hobart's Funnies on assulting the Atlatic Wall defences was carried out in various parts of the country i.e. Thetford Forest and Suffolk and Surrey IIRC.

Not sure what follow up Divisions/Corps trained for - probably just general training with an emphasis on speeding inland as quickly as possible and hitting the ground running, not planning on getting bogged down in bocage country!

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This thread stirred up a vague memory (?) that paradoxically the British trained for hedgerow combat. That search brought up an excerpt from a book which seems wholly pertinent to our discussion.

Searching For Competence: The Initial Combat Experience Of Untested US Army Divisions in World War II, by Major Benjamin L. Bradley. Using the Google keyphrase "British hedgerow training," I found a passage which emphatically states that most of the 90th's training was on physical conditioning, squad tactics and learning about the German Army. Worse, there were no exercises above platoon level. No hedgerow combat training whatsoever was provided. Nor was this confined to the 90th, for the writer makes it clear this was an Army wide problem. I'd give page numbers, but for some undetermined reason there are none! The relevant material begins, though, on the page succeeding Figure 4, a photo of BG McElvie.

Axis History Forum looked into the US Army prep for bocage combat issue and turned up all sorts of goodies, including our own dieseltaylor holding forth on the Hobart's Funnies we could've had and how great they were in combat. He specifically references both CMBO and CMAK, too. It didn't go well, for back came a systematic dissection of practically everything he said. This came about because he crossed swords with Richard Anderson, author of Cracking Hitler's Atlantic Wall: the !st Assault Brigade Royal Engineers on D-Day. This man has done very deep research which destroys what is essentially myth on Hobart's Funnies, and instead presents, in deeply researched detail their actual performance in battle, what was available when, etc. Based on what's given, this seems like an important book which breaks new ground. Part of the overall thread reveals there were quite a few places in both England and Ireland where bocage type terrain was available for training, but it wasn't used.

Regards,

John Kettler

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As far as I recall the big goof with Normandy hedgerows was that the planners accounted for them but the assumed that they were just like hedgerows found in britain, ie easily penetrative or cut through.  They, for whatever, reason didn't know or bother to ascertain if this was the case.  At that time it would have probably seemed a trivial thing and they would have been right, but it's always the little details that can give the biggest headaches and those hedgerows had a huge impact.  Well beyond what anyone could have envisaged at the time.

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On 5/11/2016 at 0:42 AM, user1000 said:

^ I doubt the US green horns thought anything about any tactics for the first couple of months the green horns in Normandy were terrible, a lot were right out of high school facing veterans from the Eastern front.

They also fought plenty of conscripted Eastern "volunteers" who surrendered or switched sides at the first opportunity. In fact one of the great myths in America of DDay was we landed and fought Hitlers finest. We didnt. On the US beaches the perhaps most formidable unit initially was the 352nd ID.  In fact honestly there really werent that many Ost Front vets in Normandy. The NCO and officer cadre of the 12th SS. They fought CW though. Other SS maybe. Lehr had some maybe but probably not that many, it was a unit made of instructors from Grafenwohr etc..

The CW fought the crack units at the beginning. Second of all the US Army gave a good showing of itself through all of Normandy not just after. I hace countless examples. Bravery? Brecourt Manor. Cherbourg. Ingenuity? Cullins device. Holding against all odds? That NG unit that held on a hill near Mortain the Germans simply could not dislodge.

Its a disservice to the veterans of the actual fighting to over exagerrate the German troops they fought ( partially bexause if they.d been fighting the cream of the Wehrmacht which was long dead since 1940 41 the outcome may very well have been diff ) and if you make the Germans look like morons then you.re implying what those GIs in the ETO went through was a cakewalk.

 

 

Finally I want to adress how people discussing mention such and such unit had been on the ost front like that automatically makes that unit elite. For one the fact the unit no longer was in the East means it probably was almost totally destroyed. Second the nature of combat on both fronts was different and what you coudld get away with in the east you couldnt in the west vice versa.

The best example ( and much more striking ) is in the air. And this isnt intended to denigrate the VVS or Erich Hartmanns or any other Ost expertens kill records. But generally in aviation circles its noted who had the most kills against western powers and theres reasons for this. One western aircraft were generally better and the pilots better trained. Hartmann also famously said the sturmoviks didnt help themselves out by staying in rigid formation like b17s.

IMO the air war over Germany with the RAF USAAF V the Luftwaffe was the big leagues of air combat and this is reflected in that all the top German aces against Western pilots died minus Galland and a couple others and their kill scores were drastically lower than the Eastern Front.

Of course this is the air. Planes dont occupy ground and the Red Army bled for and foight 3/4s of the Wehrmacht more or less until the end. Noone can nor should deny their sacrifice. But war is ugly everywhere and i think sometimes people act almost like ww2 soldiers werent l33t unless they were in Russia amongst grogs. Amongst the idiot history channel ww2 buffs its a toss up between the us singlehandedly winning ww2 at dday against Hitlers best. Or the flying saucers did it.

 

 

Finally what green horns specifically were terrible? 82nd, 101st AB? 1st ID? Do tell.

Edited by Sublime

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59 minutes ago, Warts 'n' all said:

Is Basidiomycota anywhere near Basildon?

Funny place Basildon as when I was being ambulanced in a few years back I spotted in the fields surrounding the hospital, the slightly surreal & beautiiful sight of staff in the sunshine lined up like sunflowers puffing away on cigarettes...

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9 hours ago, Wicky said:

Funny place Basildon as when I was being ambulanced in a few years back I spotted in the fields surrounding the hospital, the slightly surreal & beautiiful sight of staff in the sunshine lined up like sunflowers puffing away on cigarettes...

Given the way Jeremy rhyming slang treats the NHS no wonder all the staff smoke like chimneys. But that is going just a tad off topic. 

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