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John Kettler

Try doing this in ANY WW II CMx2 game

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Brother Ed was kind enough to let me borrow his copy of Zaloga's Armored Thunderbolt, a Sherman book which covers a lot of new ground on little discussed aspects. On page 259, I was astounded to see a photo of a wrecked (talking direct hit which ripped away the top half of the tall gun shield) M5 3-Inch ATG. The photo was new to me, but the shock lay in the caption. The gun was destroyed a few days after Christmas '44 at a crossroads outside of Humain, Belgium, but before it died, it killed an officially credited fifteen (15) German tanks belonging to 9 PD! There were no details provided, but I thought this was deserving of a post and might trigger a response from those knowledgeable or with deep libraries. I can only presume this monster of a gun (have stood next to one at Ft. Benning) was firing at a tank column, rather than dealing with a combined arms attack. Also noteworthy is that the gun wasn't dug in. I suspect WX helped considerably with postponing how long it took for the Germans to locate and silence the gun. Am sure we all know full well how brief that same gun's combat life would've been in a CMx2 fight!

Regards,

John Kettler

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37 minutes ago, John Kettler said:

Am sure we all know full well how brief that same gun's combat life would've been in a CMx2 fight!

Maybe depends on the range of engagement of the M5 3" ATG?  Nearly all CM2 battles are short range knife fights so ATG's are seen quickly.

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The stealthynes of ATG guns have seen some lenthy discussions through the years...seems like about half the comunity like it as it is and the other half feels that the guns might be spotted somewhat to easily. 

I'm on the side that feels that the stealthynes of those guns could perhaps be improved somewhat. Especially if they have not opened fire yet.

The option to be able to chose different levels of camoflage for the guns have also been discussed...a feature that i would like to see (i know about the - do not move after set-up rule  ;))

A hastely deployed gun and a gun deployed in a well prepared and camoflaged possition are two very different things...not so in CM unfortunatelly...hopefully it will be someday (soon)...

A few time when i have been able to deploy my AT gun just behind the crest of a Ridge...kind of hull-downish...the gun have been able to survive for quite some time in a firefight against tanks atleast...killing several B)...

As you mentioned...perhaps the germans did not bring any mortars for example (combined arms) to this particular fight...

15 tanks is a pretty good number though...I hope that gun-crew survived :)

 

 

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In CMBS I've managed to whack nearly a dozen BMPs and several tanks with a Ukrainian ATG hidden in the woods - and it survived the battle - so it's definitely possible.

Yeah OK not a WW2 title - but hey - modern era optics and target acquisition make hiding something a lot harder.

Edited by kraze

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Official accreditation is a bit of a loose term.

The process involved could just be that someone other than the gun crew verified their claims. Like the sergeant who joined them and directed their fire, then, after half the men were machine-gunned, or maimed by HE fire, simply acknowledged that they stood and fought by signing the report...or told the tale to an officer.

Or, a forensics team meticulously examined all German strength return reports, verified losses by checking factory serial numbers to hull carcasses, measured and scoped various penetrations of tanks on the battlefield, sighted back along the holes to the atg position, verified that the atg shot was the one that destroyed the tank. And did this for all weapons and destroyed afvs on the battlefield.

There is a wide gulf between these two extremes. For an example of how these reports should be approached, read the two Swordfish Press books about Market-Garden or any of the Leaping Horseman Publishers books on armor near Stalingrad. Every vehicle entering the battlespace is accounted for and their fates are meticulously documented. From this type of research it becomes clear that battlefield claims frequently only approximate what happened.

I have that Zaloga book. I’ll read that claim and then I’ll see if 9PD showed a loss of 15 (or more) tanks in that area. If I can dig that up.

I don’t doubt that the atg did have a significant impact on that battle. I am skeptical that it destroyed 15 tanks.

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I think such details can only be found in divisional or regimental combat chronicles and there aren't many around for the 9. PD. The 9. PD  was there, but I've never heard it was decimated in such a manner. It sounds very unlikely. The attack would have been broken off long before such a number of tanks would have been destroyed. Besides the US Army wasn't very impressed with the performance of the M5 3-Inch ATG  during the fighting in the Ardennes. One M5 3-Inch ATG  finishing off fifteen German tanks would probably have changed/influenced that view.

Edited by Aragorn2002

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^^^

This.

I'm reading up on the 9PD engagements from 22-27 December. I don't (yet) see any loss of 15 tanks (and more from other than the one gun) anywhere. Of course, the narratives are more broad than I'd like, however, I don't see any horrendous results like this thus far.

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