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George MC

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

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On 2.3.2018 at 10:16 AM, kipanderson said:

Hi,

Does anyone know of a book from the German side that is the equivalent to Closing With The Enemy by Michael Doubler or Stout Hearts by Ben Kite dealing respectively American and British CM scale tactics?

The two above books are far head of others in explaining American and Commonwealth tactics in WWII. In my view but each to their own of course. A little as though Max Hastings or James Holland had written books in their usual narrative form but taking even greater care and effort to explain tactical detail.

No book covering the Germans springs to mind that does the same trick.

Thanks,

All the best,

Kip.

I have Doublers book, but I don´t know of anything similar from german perspective as well. Combining Schneider´s Panzer Tactic and USMHI Special Series (particularly 8 + 9, german tactical doctrine, german squad in combat) though gives quite a good overview with regard to CM scale. There´s other free stuff in the net (small unit tactics series), but unfortunately nothing in a single book AND english language.

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RockinHarry,

Thanks.

Understandably most military history is your standard narrative fare, be it good or less so, or tactical manuals. The Doubler book and Stour Hearts are really the ideal for us CM fans in that they explain the tactics in such detail. Stout Hearts explains that AT guns were never setup to fire head on but always from the side to take an example. But explains this within a very well written book. Not a manual.

But it is understandable that most want a given campaign or battle explained.

Thanks again,

All the best,

Kip.

 

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On 3/2/2018 at 9:18 AM, George MC said:

There are a few action shots that show the MG being manned and the gunner despite the shield still appears rather exposed..

Propaganda pics taken in situations of little or no danger maybe?

In any case, wouldn't the gunner's eye need to be level with the gun barrel while firing to aim the thing?

On 3/2/2018 at 9:18 AM, George MC said:

660758d08a4a3a33cb10097418ba0ed8.jpg

910d8f28b1e4a1e7fb934ce224ba1671.jpg

 

 

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I would lean to observation. A gunner on an mg especially with an iron sight wouldn't really be able to see the impact of his rounds while staring down the barrel, especially at any considerable distance. It would be a case of burst then peek to see where tracers and impact could be seen. Without a number two to help him spot on the gun he needs to be able to check quickly then get back to shooting. With a shield too tall it might have been difficult to watch his impacts. It might also be there so he could watch for friendlies advancing on the objective. He can give a quick look without having to move to much to see whether or not his arcs are sweeping towards their movement. Putting s tall set of horse blinders in front of him doesn't allow that quick observation. Then I imagine if he came under fire he could duck down far enough to cover up but not completely all the way down. 

 

Thats just my .02cdn

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3 hours ago, sigop22 said:

I would lean to observation. A gunner on an mg especially with an iron sight wouldn't really be able to see the impact of his rounds while staring down the barrel, especially at any considerable distance. It would be a case of burst then peek to see where tracers and impact could be seen. Without a number two to help him spot on the gun he needs to be able to check quickly then get back to shooting. With a shield too tall it might have been difficult to watch his impacts. It might also be there so he could watch for friendlies advancing on the objective. He can give a quick look without having to move to much to see whether or not his arcs are sweeping towards their movement. Putting s tall set of horse blinders in front of him doesn't allow that quick observation. Then I imagine if he came under fire he could duck down far enough to cover up but not completely all the way down. 

 

Thats just my .02cdn

Pretty shrewd observation, I say.

Michael

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Posted (edited)

In my recently bought copy of SdKfz 251 Ausf D - Armor Walk Around Color Series No. 9 (couldn't resist George and thanks again for the recommendation) it is mentioned  the shield could be removed from the roof if necessary. I also see that the gunner would have to stand on the benches to be able to shoot or stand (rather narrow) between them. Given the recoil of the MG 42 and for the sake of stability standing on the benches would perhaps have been preferable, so that partly explains the high profile of the gunner.

Edited by Aragorn2002

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On ‎2‎/‎03‎/‎2018 at 7:18 PM, George MC said:

910d8f28b1e4a1e7fb934ce224ba1671.jpg

In the image above not sure I'd be perched on the edge of the vehicle with my back to the action!

So maybe our SPW gunners being picked off in the game is not unrealistic!

 

That chap has got a signalling baton and I guess he is the Zugfuhrer busy getting the rest of the Zug off their @rses and into the fight.

As to the gunshield discussion, my guess would be ease of observation for wider situational awareness as well.

Looking at the thing as a whole though, there is a danger of all of us over analysing a lot of this stuff, in this image you could ask why he's not wearing a helmet because armchair logic would have it that he would be safer in a helmet. Perhaps:

  • He lost it.
  • He's the Zugfuhrer and will do what he damn well likes.
  • It allows him to put a set of headphones on quicker when he needs to speak on the radio.
  • He banged his head earlier in the day and wearing his helmet hurts.
  • The cameraman said it would look cooler in the photograph.
  • He has an 'excused helmet' medical chit.
  • He's an idiot.

I'm sure we could come up with more interpretations. Don't get me wrong, this stuff is core business for me and I know the art of the possible in interpreting imagery and the considerable value it adds but it can also lead to misleading deductions or running down rabbit holes.

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58 minutes ago, Combatintman said:
  • He's the Zugfuhrer and will do what he damn well likes.

He appears to be an officer—notice the shoulder boards?—and officers frequently did not wear helmets but soft hats. I find that this is usually the case in all armies I've seen photos of.

Michael

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2 hours ago, Combatintman said:

That chap has got a signalling baton and I guess he is the Zugfuhrer busy getting the rest of the Zug off their @rses and into the fight.

As to the gunshield discussion, my guess would be ease of observation for wider situational awareness as well.

Looking at the thing as a whole though, there is a danger of all of us over analysing a lot of this stuff, in this image you could ask why he's not wearing a helmet because armchair logic would have it that he would be safer in a helmet. Perhaps:

  • He lost it.
  • He's the Zugfuhrer and will do what he damn well likes.
  • It allows him to put a set of headphones on quicker when he needs to speak on the radio.
  • He banged his head earlier in the day and wearing his helmet hurts.
  • The cameraman said it would look cooler in the photograph.
  • He has an 'excused helmet' medical chit.
  • He's an idiot.

I'm sure we could come up with more interpretations. Don't get me wrong, this stuff is core business for me and I know the art of the possible in interpreting imagery and the considerable value it adds but it can also lead to misleading deductions or running down rabbit holes.

  • He used to work for the Deutsche Reichsbahn and is longing for the time that nobody took a shot at him. So yes, he lost it.

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4 hours ago, MOS:96B2P said:

I'm thinking this one ;).    :D

My 34 years in the military makes me more inclined to go for both 1 and 7. But also based on my experience I suppose I could add an eighth - Somebody stole it, so my final answer would be 1,7 and 8.

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5 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

He appears to be an officer—notice the shoulder boards?—and officers frequently did not wear helmets but soft hats. I find that this is usually the case in all armies I've seen photos of.

Michael

What like this officer ...

http://content.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1718068,00.html

Soft hats are pretty rare in professional armies these days in high risk areas for the main reason it is bloody dangerous. Also for the simple leadership reason of never expecting your soldiers to do something that you're not prepared to do yourself but most importantly because your Platoon Sergeant/Company Sergeant Major will grip you up.

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