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Erwin

REAL WORLD TACTICS THAT WORK IN CM

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Was going thru old CM files and found this which may be helpful to those still learning CM (as we all are actually).  This hasn't been edited so may have spelling errors etc.  Sorry for not crediting the author, but I don't know who wrote it. 

 

REAL WORLD TACTICS THAT WORK IN CM

 

Below you will find some real world tactics that we use in the military that will work in CM games.  Most of these tactics can be used with Infantry and Armor, but some are Infantry or Armor specific.  What you are about to read IS what I was taught when I was in the U.S. Army.

 

MOVEMENT TECHNEQUES

 

 

There are 3 types of movement formations:  Traveling, Traveling Overwatch, and Bounding Overwatch.  These movements are written with a 3 squad platoon or a tank platoon (at least 3 tanks or H/T’s) in mind, but you can adapt them as you see fit for the unit you are moving.

 

     Traveling (CM= Fast Move): This is when contact with the enemy is NOT likely.  Or you’re moving up to the battle area.  Use this when you have no LOS to the enemy from the position YOU are moving to.

 

     Traveling Overwatch (CM= Move or Advance):  This is when one squad or platoon sits in an overwatch position while another moves forward to the next covered or concealed position.  Once you are done setting up the moving unit, you move the unit that was in the overwatch position.  Use this when contact is likely, but you’re not sure.

 

     Bounding Overwatch (CM= Contact or Assault): This is when you use one or two of the 3 squads to lay down a base of fire to pin down the enemy and use the remaining units to flank the position by using all available cover so that the flanking unit can get to a favorable position to assault from.

 

MOVEMENT FORMATIONS

 

 

The movement formations below can be used for tanks and H/T’s.  But generally we use ONLY the first one for Infantry.

 

 

WEDGE   In this formation you have one unit up, and one on either side, but back some.  It will look like an arrow.  The HQ unit will be behind the center unit in the middle.  If you are attaching units like MG’s or AT weapons, then you make another arrow with the HQ unit as the point.  This is the most common formation for moving cross-country.  It also provides the best all around defense and the MG’s can be brought up quickly. 

 

 

DIAMOND – This is a tank and H/T formation.  It provides the best overall coverage 360o.

 

FILE – Use this one when moving down a road when you have to get somewhere fast. Basically one behind the other.  Place the HQ unit as the 2nd unit so it can direct the 2 or 3 units behind it to the left of right as the situation dictates if or when contact is made.  This formation is generally used when traveling to the Line of Departure (LD) or Main Line of Resistance (MLR).  It has the least amount of firepower forward, but the most on the sides.

 

ECHELON LEFT or RIGHT – This is a tank formation.  Place the HQ unit, then the rest of the unit to the left or right of it.  A variation of it is placing the units on an 45o angle to the HQ unit instead of on line with it.  Usually you use this formation on the flanks when moving.

 

 

REACTION TO ARTILLARY STRIKES

 

General rule of thumb is that Art’y will fall AWAY from the direction it is traveling.  So, if your FO is looking South, then the rounds will fall in a North to South pattern (I’ve noticed this in the game, but the game does not take into account of WHERE the guns really are).

 

What you can do is once the first rounds start to land, is on your next orders turn, take what good order units are left and RUN them TOWARDS THE ENEMY!!  Yes, I know this doesn’t sound right, but it does work for some reason in the game.  The real doctrine I was taught was to pick a clock direction AWAY from the falling rounds and AWAY from the original direction of movement.

 

COUNTER MEASURES FOR THIS

 

The counter for this is to have another FO or a unit’s organic mortars have a LOS to a spot the would be 1 or 2 turns of movement from the falling rounds.  You can then start dropping those rounds as the running unit enters the new area.  Thus bracketing that unit and causing even more casualties.

 

 MACHINE GUNS

 

Rule of thumb here is basically for defense only.  When setting up a defense we used an acronym called O.C.O.K.A. this will be explained later.  In short you set up the MG’s first and build your defense around them.   This applies to ALL MG’s that are separate units not organic to a squad.  MG’s are the majority of your infantry’s firepower, so they need to be strategically placed.  They are also  just about the only weapon in the infantryman’s hands that can get out to 1000 meters or more, so placing them where they can only see only up to 300m would be wasting a lot of firepower, unless that is what the terrain dictates.  I’m not going to give any hints here due to the too many variations of terrain.

 

In the offense, keep the MG’s close to a leader, so they can get to use some of his pluses if he has any.  Move them behind the squads so they can be brought up to the firing line where you need them.  Do not bring them any further forward than necessary.  As soon as they have a LOS stop them.  Get them firing first, and then start your maneuver to take out the enemy.

 

50mm & 60mm MORTARS

 

These are the organic mortars of most standard Inf. Company’s.  Use these to cover dead zones.  Dead zones are places that the regular infantryman cannot fire into with his rifle, like behind buildings, creek beds, ravines, behind hills.  In today’s military we use Grenade launchers to accomplish this task.

 

 

AT GUNS

 

In the defense the same rules for MG’s apply here as well.  But my thoughts on their use are this:  They are for use against tanks and H/T’s.  I do my best to not waste them on Infantry targets, unless they need to defend themselves.  To solve this problem you may want to provide a security force of a MG or a squad to take care of any Infantry threat that may present itself.

 

 

 

ENGINEERS & FLAMETHROWERS

 

 

Do not waste these valuable troops fighting Infantry in foxholes.  That’s not what you got them for.  These units are for taking out hard targets like heavy tanks and bunkers.  If you waste them on the foxholes, then they will not have anymore demo charges to use when you do stumble on a bunker, and you’ll be forced to waste valuable time maneuvering around it.

SMOKE

 

Smoke is used for concealing yourself while moving.  And it can be used to block the observation of a bunker or other targets while you’re maneuvering around them to take them out.  Use it wisely, as you only have a limited amount of it.  If you know what type of terrain your going to traverse, especially in a QB, then you may want to buy an extra FO just for this.

 

PRIORITIZE YOUR TARGETS

 

Believe it or not, this does work, so listen up!!  Prioritizing your targets means using the least amount of firepower over the least amount of time to achieve the maximum results.  There are usually 2 ways to win a game, capture the objectives and destroying most of your opponent’s combat power.  The game gives you a choice, unless the scenario designer set it up that you have to do one or the other.   In the real world Patton’s ideas of closing with the enemy to destroy him so he can not fight another day is NOT the way to do it.  You waste a lot of ammo and will incur a lot of unnecessary casualties.

 

What you do is use your enemy’s morale against him.  You want to eliminate the following targets basically in this order:

 

HQ platoons = makes the unit break and rout faster.

Co. HQ = Same result once you get rid of the Plt HQ’s

MG’s = less firepower he can throw at you.

FO’s = Same as MG’s

All other tanks = Again, take out the heaviest firepower

H/T’s = Means he has to walk more, wasting a lot of time.

 

You will notice I’m leaning towards the Infantry side of things here.  That is because no other units have the ability to hold ground gained like an infantry unit can.  This was learned the hard way, and so is pounded into our heads over at Ft. Benning, and at every service academy that trains leaders for the combat arms.

 

Basically in a nut shell, it really doesn’t matter if you get a total vic or a minimum vic.  A win is still a win and a loss is still a loss.  And I believe the game does take into account for routed and captured units at the last turn.

 

Ok, so now I gave you some good information.  So, how do you employ it?  There are 2 formulas that we use one for attack and one for defense.

  

METT-T (OFFENSE)

 

Mission – What is your mission?

 

Equipment – What do you have to accomplish the mission with?  You need to        know its capabilities and limitations

 

Terrain – What types of terrain are you going to have to traverse to get to your objectives?

 

Troops - What type of troops are you going to come up against?

 

Time – How much time do you have to accomplish the mission?  General rule of thumb is to divide the number of turns by 3.  If you can’t divide it evenly add extra turns to the 3rd set.

 

1st set – maneuver to the location you want to launch your attack on the objectives.

 

2nd set – Attacking the objective.

 

3rd set – Finishing the attack and defending the objective against any counter-attack.

 

Another variation to this is the 5 W’s (Who, What, When, Where & Why)

 

We all know that a plan never survives the first shots fired, but a good commander can think on his feet and will find a way to Charley Mike (Continue Mission)

 

OCOKA (DEFENSE)

 

 

Observation – pick good LOS for ALL your units.

 

Cover & Concealment – Don’t put anyone out in the open if you don’t have to.

 

Obstacles – Barb wire, mines, and road blocks.

 

Key Terrain – What is the most dominant piece of terrain on the map?  This would be the largest hill or that one town.  Most scenarios are built around this, as that was what the battle was for.

 

Avenues of Approach – Terrain the enemy will use to move his forces without you seeing them.  In other words, ravines, woods, and other terrain that will mask his approach.

 

 

 

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The best real world advice I've gleaned has usually come from platoon-level tactical combat manuals for both tanks and infantry. How to approach a suspicious cluster of buildings, etc. Higher up the manual pecking order tend to focus more on march formations, logistics chains and such things.

Here's a randomly picked example:

https://www.bits.de/NRANEU/others/amd-us-archive/FM17-33C1(59).pdf

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33 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

The best real world advice I've gleaned has usually come from platoon-level tactical combat manuals for both tanks and infantry. How to approach a suspicious cluster of buildings, etc. Higher up the manual pecking order tend to focus more on march formations, logistics chains and such things.

Here's a randomly picked example:

https://www.bits.de/NRANEU/others/amd-us-archive/FM17-33C1(59).pdf

same here and have quite a big bunch of them, incl. german originals from WW2 period. Stunning how much of all that can be applied in the game successfully. B)

Another link to a well known document I think: The German Squad in Combat No 9

Edited by RockinHarry

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2 hours ago, LukeFF said:

Erwin, really, drop it with the all caps text. We can read what you write just fine without it. 

Jeez one makes a post without noticing caps is on...  Must be great to be perfect like you...    If you can tell me how to change a subject line after it's posted I will happily do that.

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1 hour ago, Bulletpoint said:

Just noticed that the squad leader, machinegunner and assistant were all equipped with sunglasses... (page 2).. But I never saw any German wear sunglasses in any war movie or war game :)

 

think some folks already modded sunglasses to some face textures anywhere, so this would remain a possibility. :D Too bad, we do not have blinding FX (not that glaring graphical onscreen FX) modelled from looking towards the sun in a battle, where having sunglasses would make some sense. B) I.e in the running QB PBEM with @Heirloom_Tomato I´m attacking with the sun in the back and should have some advantage. :P

walking into demise (stalingrad) with SG on:

6th-Army-soldiers-marching-to-Stalingrad

Edited by RockinHarry

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8 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:

think some folks already modded sunglasses to some face textures anywhere, so this would remain a possibility. :D Too bad, we do not have blinding FX (not that glaring graphical onscreen FX) modelled from looking towards the sun in a battle, where having sunglasses would make some sense. B) I.e in the running QB PBEM with @Heirloom_Tomato I´m attacking with the sun in the back and should have some advantage. :P

Your amazing crew in the 20 mm AC halftrack is plenty of advantage, if you ask me! 😁

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3 minutes ago, Heirloom_Tomato said:

Your amazing crew in the 20 mm AC halftrack is plenty of advantage, if you ask me! 😁

don´t tell you´re scared of that popgun toy? :D

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51 minutes ago, LongLeftFlank said:

Wasn't that a song, The Boys of Case Blau or sumfink?

(Look at those poor kids. They look like the high school rowers I used to coach in largely German Cincinnati OH back in the day)

hm.... I know the song. Ain´t it a cover version? B)

yeah... those boys look like going into summer vacation not yet imagining they´re all about to end in siberian winter camps. At least those that survived their Stalingrad endeavour.

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here´s a sample of various period books dealing with german tactical methods in WW2, limited to just infantry, but also bits of tank warfare added. I´ve quite a lot more, incl. official field manuals/regulations, other branches, but the shown sample was privately published by military people for german market in the 1930/40ies. Took me 15 years to scrape together from various sources like ebay, local markets, other collectors and such. Prices were almost all far from hurting fortunately. The books shown are the most useful to me when it comes to low scale WW2 german tactics (regimental and below) and contain tons of graphical examples as well. Some of these are also registered as prime sources in contemporary military books.

Beside german stuff I also gathered similar US, UK and even few russian ones, though they´re all electronic format.

242yi54.jpg

Shown in the sample:

from left to right

Row 1: Greiner & Degeners Tactics Series (one book yet missing)

1. Taktik im Rahmen des verstärkten Infanterie Bataillons, 1941
   (Tactics within framework of reinforced infantry battalion)
2. Gefechte der besonderen Art, 1937
   (Battles of particular kind)
3. Krisen im Gefecht, 1936
   (Crises in battle)
4. Kampftechnik, 1941
   (Combat techniques)
5. Gefechtsführung und Kampftechnik, 1937
   (Combat conducting and techniques)
6. Taktische Aufgaben im Regimentsverband, 1938
   (tactical tasks within framework of a regiment)
7. Aufgabenstellung und Übungsleitung, 1938
   (statement of tasks and conducting exercises), sort of wargaming bible for map exercises, outdoor unit rehearsals and such.

Row 2: Fritz Kühlwein´s series of books

1. Felddienst ABC für den Schützen, 1935
   (field duty ABC for single infantryman)
2. Die Gruppe im Gefecht, 1940
   (german squad in combat)
3. Schützenzug und Kompanie im Gefecht, 1934
   (rifle platoon and company in combat)
4. Unterführer Merkbuch, 1939
   (NCO notebook)
5. Gefechtstaktik des verstärkten Bataillons, 1936
   (combat tactics of the reinforced battailon)

Row 3: Parts of the latest issues of "Fibel" (handbook) series written by Zimmermann, v. Cochenhausen and v. Witzleben

1. Infanteriedienst, 1940
   (infantryman´s service)
2. Die Gruppe der Schützenkompanie zu 12 Gruppen, 1941
   (the squad of the infantry company as of 12 squads)
3. Lehrbeispiele für das Gefecht, 1940
   (object lessons for the battle)
4. Kurzer Abriss der Taktik, 1941
   (short survey of tactics)
5. Kriegsspiel in kleinerem Rahmen, late 30ies
   (small scale wargaming)

Row 4: various authors

1. Das Nachtgefecht, Boltze, 1940
   (the night battle)
2. Das Bataillonsgefecht, Braun, 1934
   (the battalion´s battle)
3. Taktisches Handbuch für den Truppenführer und seine Gehilfen, v. Cochenhausen, 1936
   (tactical handbook for the troop leader and his assistants. Troop leader refers to higher level leaders of Bn and above)
4. kleine Lagen und ihre Durchführung, Bones, 1942
   (small situations and their conduction)
5. Das verstärkte Bataillon - Führungsgrundlagen und Befehlsbeispiele, Falley, 1942
   (the reinforced battailon - leading fundamentals and order examples)
6. Befehlstechnik, Volkmannn, 1936.
   (order/command technique)
7. Die Planübung, Mahlmann, 1942
   (the map and sandbox exercise)

Row 5: various.

1. Aufgaben für Zug und Kompanie, Rommel, 1944
   (tasks for platoon and company. Rehearsals with maps and written up situation examples)
2. Taktik im Russlandfeldzug, Middeldorf, 1957
   (tactics in the russian campaign)
3. Gefechtsausbildung der Panzergrenadiere, v. Wehren, 1944
   (combat training of the Panzergrenadiers)
4. Das Panzerjägerbuch, Edler von Peter, 1939
   (tank hunter handbook. Hints and combat training for AT gun units)
5. Panzerkampfwagenbuch, Kauffmann, 1941
   (combat training and conduction for AFV crews and units upto Plt level) 
6. Panzer-Marsch, Guderian/Munzel, 1957

Frame 6:

1. Der Feuerkampf der Schützenkompanie, ?, 1940
   (the firefight of the rifle infantry company)
2. H.Dv. 300/1 Truppenführung
   (unit command)
3. Taschenbuch für den Winterkrieg, ?, 1942
   (pocketbook for winter warfare)
4. Der Feuerkampf des s.M.G, Froböse, 1940
   (the firefight of the heavy machine gun)
 

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here´s a sample of various period books dealing with german tactical methods in WW2, limited to just infantry, but also bits of tank warfare added. I´ve quite a lot more, incl. official field manuals/regulations, other branches, but the shown sample was privately published by military people for german market in the 1930/40ies. Took me 15 years to scrape together from various sources like ebay, local markets, other collectors and such. Prices were almost all far from hurting fortunately. The books shown are the most useful to me when it comes to low scale WW2 german tactics (regimental and below) and contain tons of graphical examples as well. Some of these are also registered as prime sources in contemporary military books.

Beside german stuff I also gathered similar US, UK and even few russian ones, though they´re all electronic format.

They look extremely interesting harry. Do you have any links to those in electronic format please mate?

 

 

regards

 

slipper

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1 hour ago, RockinHarry said:

here´s a sample of various period books dealing with german tactical methods in WW2, 

Took me 15 years to scrape together from various sources

Some of these are also registered as prime sources in contemporary military books.  

+1  Wow.  Very cool.  

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17 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

+1  Wow.  Very cool.  

believe me, there´s hundreds of almost ready to convert to CM mission examples in there, incl. possible briefing templates! Particularly the ones dealing with military wargaming and rehearsals are extremely instructive, when it comes to our games mission design techniques. Wished i´d the time to finish all the stuff I´d already started over time. I´m a master at fighting on too many fronts and at last get nothing finished. :P

I know there´s also similar (e)books on US military wargaming techniques, either WW2 or more current and I highly recommend having a look in there. I´d gathered a number from the net (CARL), though haven´t had yet the time to work through.

Edited by RockinHarry

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13 minutes ago, RockinHarry said:

believe me, there´s hundreds of almost ready to convert to CM mission examples in there, incl. possible briefing templates! Particularly the ones dealing with military wargaming and rehearsals are extremely instructive, when it comes to our games mission design techniques. Wished i´d the time to finish all the stuff I´d already started over time. I´m a master at fighting on too many fronts and at last get nothing finished. :P

I know there´s also similar (e)books on US military wargaming techniques, either WW2 or more current and I highly recommend having a look in there. I´d gathered a number from the net (CARL), though haven´t had yet the time to work through.

very interresting RH I have some pdf somewhere on an hd from german us british japan russian infos of army with, organisation and abreviation, have to have a look...

Edited by 3j2m7

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1 hour ago, Bulletpoint said:

Very impressive library you have. Did you read all those books/manuals?

from the sample, yes indeed. Some even twice or more. Except that 7th book in row 1. A 400 page strong heavyweight, with some very special chapters involving artillery and lots of maths, trigonometry and such.  I´m not a collector and in fact it´s plain wargaming resource material to me. :)

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11 hours ago, slysniper said:

Well, first you will have to teach us all how to read German before those manuals are of any help.

 

 

I've been serializing the panzer grenadier one on my twitter feed - link below.

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54 minutes ago, George MC said:

I've been serializing the panzer grenadier one on my twitter feed - link below.

Just judging from the translated book samples I think John Baum did a very great job at it. Spot on translations and a fine appreciation of contents. B) I can well compare, since I have about 20 of those translations in his list in german original. Graphics and all the map content should be included as well. I know of no other high quality source like Baum´s anywhere in the net and prices are very reasonable, the more when compared with some the rare originals, which can be up to 100$ and more among collectors world wide. So if you´re just up to actual contents like me, I´d grap one or the other, particular some the basics from 130 series, as well as the more advanced Panzergrenadier and infantry tactics related book "Battalion Tactics" from Greiner/Degener series of which I own 7 in original.  

Edited by RockinHarry

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