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Wengart

Squads close attacking armor do not use demo charges often enough

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I recently played a QB where I had a platoon of airborne vs. a understrength platoon of P4s at night. With visibility being about 20 meters I managed to knock out 2 and immobilize the third, but I noticed that the airborne squads were not using their demo charges until all of their grenades were expended.

It would make more sense to me to use the heaviest AT you have when facing armor. Is there any reason they are not? is this something BFC would possibly look at?

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I know the game abstracts it this way graphically, but you wouldn't really 'lob' a demo charge at a tank; they would be difficult to throw more than a few feet. And there's also no contact fuse, so you have to set a timer and then try to place it on or under the tank so that it stays there until it detonates (and also hope you set a long enough fuse that you can get to cover before it goes boom).

Given all this, it doesn't really surprise me that demos aren't the first thing to pop out of a squad's arsenal when close assaulting a tank.

But if they're waiting until the squad has used up every single grenade, then perhaps this is too long; there should be some balance between the time it takes to prep the demo charge, the risk involved in using it, and the fact that it's probably much more effective than an ordinary hand grenade. Probably higher experience level infantry should use them faster.

Edit to add: I recognize that your typical frag grenade isn't exactly designed for taking out tanks, either. But at least they're designed for throwing so it's a lot easier to just toss from cover and hope you get lucky and blow off a track link or something.

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Silly question, but what _are_ demo charges really intended for in the game?

Aside from blowing up bridges, which is a really "specialised" thing, is there a more general purpose "battle use" that makes good sense?

GaJ

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GaJ, you've never blown through a hedgerow with one? I'm always frantically looking for more after burning through 2 engi squads worth in an attack. You can also blow through a doorless wall into a house which (apparently) will shock the defenders as well as giving you a better route.

I have been loving the usefulness of these charges compared to CM1 during my playthrough of the "Road to..." campaign.

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Well historically, American troops would take off their socks, slip the demo charges into them with the fuse hanging out and coat them with axle grease that is conveniently laying around all over Normandy. This would create a perfect "sticky bomb", and many sockless Joe's.

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Well historically, American troops would take off their socks, slip the demo charges into them with the fuse hanging out and coat them with axle grease that is conveniently laying around all over Normandy. This would create a perfect "sticky bomb", and many sockless Joe's.

Of course, it was quickly stopped when the Germans complained that it was a major violation of the Geneva Convention, as those socks, worn for days or weeks, in warm, damp conditions, were somewhere between a bio and chem weapon.

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Silly question, but what _are_ demo charges really intended for in the game?

You can also use them to blow holes in connecting buildings walls or non connecting for that matter,save going out into a bullet swept street.

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Since we're talking about the different uses of demo charges, having a unit run up to something you want a hole in (a wall or bocage) and then giving a blast order parallel to it will have the squad blast a hole and then run to the side. Instead of running through the hole and often to their deaths.

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The demo charges in BN are a bit large to fit in a sock, AIUI. They're good for a breach in bocage (often wide enough for a tank), which someone said took tens of pounds of explosive; good luck throwing that very far :)

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I wrote this for the tech manual of World War II Online (when it was called that):

http://wiki.wwiionline.com/mediawiki/index.php/Satchel_Charge

Key quotes:

"Targeting the engine deck was effective as blast and/or hot gases could pass through the cooling grills and enter the engine compartment, where fuel fumes might ignite. Such a result would most likely destroy the engine and the fire could detonate on-board ammunition and brew up the tank."

"Lucky hits aside, satchel charges proved most effective against tank tracks. Placed in or under the track, they would break the track and probably damage running gear. In most cases, these immobilized tanks retained their armament, becoming, in effect, pillboxes. If a satchel landed anywhere else on the tank, it would have little chance of doing serious damage – perhaps minor fittings, aerials, and the like might be destroyed. With luck, a sub-optimally placed satchel charge might produce spall inside a tank, concuss the crew, or injure someone directly opposite the detonation point."

"During the Winter War, Finnish General Headquarters studied the effectiveness of its anti-tank kasapanos (piled charge). It noted in February 1940 that 1.0-2.0 kg (2.2-4.4 lb) of TNT was sufficient to sever the track of a tank if blown under or next to the track. A charge of 2.0 kg (4.4 lb) could destroy vehicles of around 6 tonnes, 3.0 kg (6.6 lb) was sufficient to destroy 12-tonne vehicles, and 4.0 kg (8.8 lb) was sufficient for 30-tonne vehicles such as the Soviet T-28 medium tank."

"According to the Finns, 6.0 kg (13.2 lb) of explosives was powerful enough to knock out any Soviet tank of 1940 vintage, provided a soldier could get close enough to place it where it could do damage, on the tank’s rear deck. Destroying a tank with a satchel charge any other way was extremely difficult, as the charge could not be tamped and so much of the explosive force was lost. Some success was scored by soldiers who lay in trenches and allowed a tank to pass overhead, then secured explosives to the weaker underside armour of the tank with adhesive. When this worked, it would incapacitate the crew with over-pressurisation rather than disable the tank itself."

And my all-time favourite tactic, yet to be modelled:

"'Military Training Pamphlet No. 42: Tank Hunting and Destruction', a British Army publication produced in August 1940, included even more desperate measures. It suggests that a team of four can take out tanks with a length of railway track, a blanket, a bucket of petrol, and matches. The team was to hide in an alleyway or alongside a house where the tank is expected to pass. Two men hold the railway track with the blanket draped over it. As the tank passes the hiding place, these two run out and jam the railway track into the tank’s suspension. The third man throws the bucket of petrol over the blanket, now entangled in the track, and the fourth sets it on fire. Another plan from that booklet is for a single man with a hammer and hand grenade to station himself near the expected route of a tank. When the tank passes, the man is to jump onto the passing tank and pound on the turret hatch with the hammer. When the tank commander opens the hatch to find out what is going on, the attacker is to drop the hand grenade inside. There is no record of these tactics ever being attempted."

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Today my unsuppressed regular Tankerjeager team waiting in ambush position thought, that it will be better to empty theirs MP40s on a 30m parked by buttoned tank instead of firing their panzerfausts. ...damn. :(

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You can also use them to blow holes in connecting buildings walls or non connecting for that matter,save going out into a bullet swept street.

Not sure I'd want to be in that house when the blasting is happening though. What with all the talk about Fausts, Shrecks and Zooks' overpressure, the bullet-swept street might be safer ;)

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"'Military Training Pamphlet No. 42: Tank Hunting and Destruction', a British Army publication produced in August 1940, included even more desperate measures. It suggests that a team of four can take out tanks with a length of railway track, a blanket, a bucket of petrol, and matches. The team was to hide in an alleyway or alongside a house where the tank is expected to pass. Two men hold the railway track with the blanket draped over it. As the tank passes the hiding place, these two run out and jam the railway track into the tank’s suspension. The third man throws the bucket of petrol over the blanket, now entangled in the track, and the fourth sets it on fire. Another plan from that booklet is for a single man with a hammer and hand grenade to station himself near the expected route of a tank. When the tank passes, the man is to jump onto the passing tank and pound on the turret hatch with the hammer. When the tank commander opens the hatch to find out what is going on, the attacker is to drop the hand grenade inside. There is no record of these tactics ever being attempted."

Sounds on par with the classic "hand grenade shoved into the barrel" approach.

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Shoving a length of railway track into a tank's running gear would be a pretty effective way of immobilising it I would think. Of course getting close enough with 20kg of steel rail is another matter.

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Shoving a length of railway track into a tank's running gear would be a pretty effective way of immobilising it I would think. Of course getting close enough with 20kg of steel rail is another matter.

The Finns did the same with logs of wood.

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