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George MC

How to Break Out of Encirclements - Panzergrenadier on the Eastern Front

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Good info and some good links to his (many) other useful briefings. 

Was fascinated by the German AT team tactics. Unlike in the game it seems that the Germans didn't just send out 2 man tank killers.  They had a three man security team, a two man smoke team, and a 4 man AT team with the demolition weapons.  Makes perfect sense.  Always thought that the game's Tank Hunter teams were usually useless.  Now one can see how the AT tactics were supposed to work. 

Also, interesting to find out that Panzershrek used to mean "Fear of Tanks" and took on the opposite meaning later in the war.

Love the German accent and good sense of humor of the narrator.

Actually have been watching more of his videos and find them fascinating and would be very useful to anyone interested in how small units functioned.  Eg:

 

Edited by Erwin

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Another fascinating and impressive briefing from this chap about Rommel vs The Desert Fox myth: 

Am hoping he's done one of modern Russian small unit tactics as am having a hard time with CMBS - can't believe the typical massive casualties suffered in CMBS (when I play) can be correct.  So far can't find one.  :(

Edited by Erwin

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As it happened I've obtained Munzel's book a couple of weeks ago. It's quite a treasure trove. Besides Munzel an impressive group of other Panzer experts like Wenck, Eberbach and Von Wietersheim were also involved in the making of this book. It covers many aspects of armored warfare and offers an interesting insight in the daily details.

What about this for example. 'Mark before the march for every platoon leader the marching direction yourself on their maps. With (complicated) Russian village names the most idiotic misunderstanding can happen, because of wrong pronunciation'.

Edited by Aragorn2002

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On 01/02/2018 at 8:04 PM, Aragorn2002 said:

As it happened I've obtained Munzel's book a couple of weeks ago. It's quite a treasure trove. Besides Munzel an impressive group of other Panzer experts like Wenck, Eberbach and Von Wietersheim were also involved in the making of this book. It covers many aspects of armored warfare and offers an interesting insight in the daily details.

What about this for example. 'Mark before the march for every platoon leader the marching direction yourself on their maps. With (complicated) Russian village names the most idiotic misunderstanding can happen, because of wrong pronunciation'.

Interesting wee quote - checked out the book but appears it's only in German.I've got Panzertaktics though which I think covers similar ground?

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2 hours ago, kipanderson said:

George, hi,

Thanks... this guy is good at what the does :)

All the best,

Kip.

Hi Kip

Aye his stuff is excellent - nice and punchy and very well delivered. Reall range of stuff as well.

Cheery!

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13 hours ago, George MC said:

Interesting wee quote - checked out the book but appears it's only in German.I've got Panzertaktics though which I think covers similar ground?

Yes, it's only in German, but one of the best books on German Panzer/Panzergrenadiere tactics I know. I don't own Menzel's book Panzertaktik, but according to the description it handles tank operations in 1941/42. His book 'Die deutschen gepanzerten Truppen bis 1945' goes beyond 1942 and covers ALL kind of tactical situations, like for example how to coordinate attacks from different directions, how to break out and how to launch a counterattack. Like I said, a real treasure trove.

I'm curious about Menzel's book Panzertaktik. It must be excellent, given his expertise. Does it also cover Stalingrad?

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Pity we don't have discussions here like this one anymore. Some sharp observations in this thread:

People like Desert Fox (a real expert, I think) seem to have left the building. Or is he still around? This discussion also seems to give a clear answer to the question whether SPW's (APC) were actually used for close combat/frontal assault and whether panzergrenadiere fought from inside the vehicles. Personally I've always been convinced they were, since it would have been a waste not to use them. To be absolutely certain I've just ordered this book about the correct tactical use of SPW's:

Merkblatt 75/10 Schützenpanzerwagen Guderian 1944 Taktisch richtiges Fahren mit Schützenpanzerwagen (reprint of 2016)

 

Edited by Aragorn2002

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15 hours ago, Aragorn2002 said:

Yes, it's only in German, but one of the best books on German Panzer/Panzergrenadiere tactics I know. I don't own Menzel's book Panzertaktik, but according to the description it handles tank operations in 1941/42. His book 'Die deutschen gepanzerten Truppen bis 1945' goes beyond 1942 and covers ALL kind of tactical situations, like for example how to coordinate attacks from different directions, how to break out and how to launch a counterattack. Like I said, a real treasure trove.

I'm curious about Menzel's book Panzertaktik. It must be excellent, given his expertise. Does it also cover Stalingrad?

Oops, my bad - my poor writing. I'd meant Panzertaktic by Wolfgang Schneider. Sorry for any confusion!

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On 3-2-2018 at 6:51 PM, George MC said:

Interesting wee quote - checked out the book but appears it's only in German.I've got Panzertaktics though which I think covers similar ground?

No problem, George. Yes, Panzertactics covers similar ground. Schneider also uses old training manuals.

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On 4-2-2018 at 9:46 AM, Aragorn2002 said:

Pity we don't have discussions here like this one anymore. Some sharp observations in this thread:

People like Desert Fox (a real expert, I think) seem to have left the building. Or is he still around? This discussion also seems to give a clear answer to the question whether SPW's (APC) were actually used for close combat/frontal assault and whether panzergrenadiere fought from inside the vehicles. Personally I've always been convinced they were, since it would have been a waste not to use them. To be absolutely certain I've just ordered this book about the correct tactical use of SPW's:

Merkblatt 75/10 Schützenpanzerwagen Guderian 1944 Taktisch richtiges Fahren mit Schützenpanzerwagen (reprint of 2016)

 

For those interested. The above mentioned Merkblatt (training manual) is made in an effective, cartoon like style, to get the message across. All drawings and accompanying text are breathing an aggressive, offensive spirit in the use of the SPW (APC). The author of this booklet uses the term "Einbruch", which translated into English is something like to forcefully break into the enemy positions.

Some examples;

Fährst Du bei einem Einbruch schlapp, Volltreffer! Und der Bart ist ab.

(When you drive too slowly during breaking in. Direct hit! And it's all over.)

Beim Einbruch, Fahrer, merk Dir das, tritt aufs Pedal, fahr zu, gib Gas!

(During breaking in, driver, notice this, your feet on the accelerator pedal, towards it, accelerate!)

Die Gräben fährt man senkrecht an, dan kommt man drüber. Denke Dran!

(Dead straight across the trenches, then you will get across. Remember that!)

It is also mentioned often that during an attack the SPW has to jump from cover to cover, while another SPW gives suppression fire, to use smoke etc. A SPW should not and can't be used like a tank.

 

Edited by Aragorn2002

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It sounds really good advice assuming you have a lot (dozens at least) of halftracks - so many/most (along with inf passengers) will survive.  Usually in a game we only have a few and that requires more care to keep em alive.  

The relative short range combat we usually experience in CM games would also mitigate against using halftracks in this way.  Most of the scenarios we play are assaults against serious defenses rather than breakthroughs thru a hole in enemy lines or vs a disorganized enemy.

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Well, yes, when it comes to playing the CM series, it's definitely a 'don't try this at home, folks'- situation.

Didn't find anything about zig zagging by the SPW's during the assault unfortunately (as shown in the movie for which George posted a link some time ago).

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Another good point.  Does zig-zagging help in the game, or are the "to hit" parameters different from RL.  Also, at 1000m  range it will make targeting harder.  But, does zig-zagging help much at close range? 

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It works OK on a 'Quick' move if the going is reasonably good and if you have the space/range for it to be effective, wouldn't fancy it in a small muddy field though, the direction changes might be a bit unfortunate!  ;)

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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13 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

It works OK on a 'Quick' move if the going is reasonably good and if you have the space/range for it to be effective, wouldn't fancy it in a small muddy field though, the direction changes might be a bit unfortunate!  ;)

I did some tests, but in the game zig zagging is sheer suicide. The SPW pauses too long before changing direction and is during that time a sitting duck.

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That's odd because I used it in my most recent game too and the SPWs did a good job, I didn't notice any significant pauses, but it was a very big map (a modified version of the CM:RT demo scenario 'Monster Mash').

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5 hours ago, Aragorn2002 said:

The SPW pauses too long before changing direction and is during that time a sitting duck.

One has to use waypoints that give gentler than 120 degree turns to ensure the vehicle doesn't pause.  So, a fast zig-zag could not have "violent" changes in direction.  CM doesn't allow for fast skidding/drifting turns.  That would be the problem at shorter ranges.  Am thinking that zig-zag works best at longer ranges where the AT shooter has to aim to lead the vehicle. 

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1 hour ago, Erwin said:

One has to use waypoints that give gentler than 120 degree turns to ensure the vehicle doesn't pause.  So, a fast zig-zag could not have "violent" changes in direction.  CM doesn't allow for fast skidding/drifting turns.  That would be the problem at shorter ranges.  Am thinking that zig-zag works best at longer ranges where the AT shooter has to aim to lead the vehicle. 

Gentler turns works indeed

2 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

That's odd because I used it in my most recent game too and the SPWs did a good job, I didn't notice any significant pauses, but it was a very big map (a modified version of the CM:RT demo scenario 'Monster Mash').

Perhaps my pc can't handle it as well as yours. It has quite some difficulty with larger scenarios too.

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The sharpness of the turns is important - as it is in real life.

I have a question though: What does zig zagging get you though? The key to keeping gunners alive and operating the MG in a half track is to keep their distance and square on to the location of the enemy.

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28 minutes ago, IanL said:

The sharpness of the turns is important - as it is in real life.

I have a question though: What does zig zagging get you though? The key to keeping gunners alive and operating the MG in a half track is to keep their distance and square on to the location of the enemy.

The zig zag discussion is based upon the training movie George MC posted some time ago. In that movie the SPW was zig zagging while a Russian ATR tried to kill it. Hence the question whether it could be simulated in the game. I fully agree that in the game it wouldn't work and only make the SPW more vulnerable, but that's also not really the point. It was just for argument's sake. In the game only distance, cover and in lesser measure speed can save your SPW. To be honest I also doubt zig zagging in real life would have been recommendable. It most certainly isn't mentioned in the training manuel I've quoted.

Edited by Aragorn2002

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