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Pig Dog

Barbed wire - am I missing something?

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After going through the tutorials and tutorial campaign, I'm doing <redacted to minimize spoilers> my first official campaign in CM:BN.

So, on the left portion of the map, just on the opposite bank of a small stream, I encounter a line of barbed wire. 'No problem,' I say, I'll just put the suppression down on the enemy while I move units through slowly a couple at a time.

Unfortunately, no matter what I've tried, I can't get my troops to go through the barbed wire. Instead, they go the long way round to the right. You are given no breaching charges, no engineer team, and as expected 60mm mortar rounds have no effect. My squads won't even attempt to cut the wire if I park them on it, even though they should all have standard issue wire cutters.*

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but the manual clearly states that barbed wire is not meant to stop infantry, but merely to slow them down, as it was in CM1x.

Is all barbed wire impossible to penetrate without an engineer or heavy artillery, or is this something specific to this battle that is meant to channel me away from the town and towards the minefield, or am I just not using the right command to move through the wire?

*Edit: these are unsuppressed troops with no LOS to any known enemy.

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Seems like imprecise language in the manual. Barbed wire 'slows you down' by forcing you to either go around or deal with it - drive a tank over it or blow it. The line could've been worded better, it seems.

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Seems like imprecise language in the manual. Barbed wire 'slows you down' by forcing you to either go around or deal with it - drive a tank over it or blow it. The line could've been worded better, it seems.

But shouldn't all US infantry be able to deal with it, albeit slowly, with their standard issue cutters? I know troops could move slowly through wire in the older CM1 series, and I find it hard to believe that any unit of infantry in WW2, especially on D-Day, could only go through wire if they had an engineer unit or a tank handy.

And you're saying that if the scenario designer were to create a solid line of wire across an entire map, that there would be no way to get through it if you didn't have tanks or charges?

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Putting a ruck on the wire or just cutting it with the bayonet works well enough. Sure Concertina is a bitch but unless you stack it 2x1 rolls high I've yet to see a squad fail to negotiate it irl.

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Hm... not sure I agree with the choice to make Barbed Wire impenetrable without special equipment.

IRL, barbed wire was rarely an impassable barrier; it was intended to slow units down so that MG and/or mortar fire could be brought to bear more effectively. Overall, the effect should be more similar to spotted & marked mines -- unless destroyed by demo or tracks or whatever, units have to move through very slowly.

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Putting a ruck on the wire or just cutting it with the bayonet works well enough. Sure Concertina is a bitch but unless you stack it 2x1 rolls high I've yet to see a squad fail to negotiate it irl.

Hm... not sure I agree with the choice to make Barbed Wire impenetrable without special equipment.

"Sorry boys, the invasion of Europe has been cancelled. Herr Hitler has employed an ingenious new defense - something called 'barbed wire' or somesuch. Since we don't have enough tanks to roll over it, we're all just going to go home and start learning to speak German" ;)

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Gentlemen, in real life (IRL) there were times when I had to walk the lizard and/or drop some friends off at the pool in the middle of the night and that damned chicken wire/barbed wire tore my BDU's and made me say some very unkind things. My fellow soldiers told to go "go around it" while I was in it. tangled...

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Hollywood figured out the answer long ago: the first man throws himself on the wire and the rest of the squad run over him. This actually works and was still in the British basic infantry manual in the 60s. You quickly found out where you stood with the rest of the squad when it came to choosing the fall guy.

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Bangalore torpedo? we have demo charges could they be used? Not sure which has access but I would think most assault infantry would. Maybe just a slow passage by infantry though this obstacle to simulate a wire cutting abstraction?

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Nothing should be impenetrable in this game, it is a bad idea that they had made barbwire and hedges impenetrable by anything but spacial units. Tanks and infantry men can move over or through almost anything given time and cover and if no one is shooting at them it should only be a matter of time. any unprotected barrier is almost useless be that mines/wire/walls/plants.

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Tanks and infantry men can move over or through almost anything given time and cover and if no one is shooting at them it should only be a matter of time. any unprotected barrier is almost useless be that mines/wire/walls/plants.

I think you underestimate Bocage, some. There are plenty of small gaps in the Bocage I've seen, so infantry can get through okay. It would take more time than is normally available in a CM game to make a hole in the hedgerow where there wasn't one before.

Tanks: how do they get through Bocage 'with enough time' (where 'enough' is less than the length of a CM game)? Just ramming the tank into the hedge repeatedly?

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After going through the tutorials and tutorial campaign, I'm doing <redacted to minimize spoilers> my first official campaign in CM:BN.

So, on the left portion of the map, just on the opposite bank of a small stream, I encounter a line of barbed wire. 'No problem,' I say, I'll just put the suppression down on the enemy while I move units through slowly a couple at a time.

Unfortunately, no matter what I've tried, I can't get my troops to go through the barbed wire. Instead, they go the long way round to the right. You are given no breaching charges, no engineer team, and as expected 60mm mortar rounds have no effect. My squads won't even attempt to cut the wire if I park them on it, even though they should all have standard issue wire cutters.*

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but the manual clearly states that barbed wire is not meant to stop infantry, but merely to slow them down, as it was in CM1x.

Is all barbed wire impossible to penetrate without an engineer or heavy artillery, or is this something specific to this battle that is meant to channel me away from the town and towards the minefield, or am I just not using the right command to move through the wire?

*Edit: these are unsuppressed troops with no LOS to any known enemy.

In a similar situation, I've tried using mortars and artillery to reduce wire obstacles, to no effect. Indirect fire should be able to do this, and is/was done. Also, why could a fragmentation grenade or two do the job on a small wire obstable?

But ... some steps to help:

Acronym: SOSR

Suppress enemy fire

Obscure the breach point with smoke to isolate the obstacle from enemy

Secure the breach point physically or by fire

Reduce the obstacle

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I do not "underestimate Bocage" but i think most people underestimate what a 40-50 ton 700 HP tank can do

"Just ramming the tank into the hedge repeatedly" that is what you do if you have the Rhino on your tank so yea

What i mean by "time" is that the Bocage were never or seldom a problem in it self, most tanks would just climb over the dirt mount and knock down the vegetation on top of it, the problem was if there were defender on the other side shooting at you.

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I do not "underestimate Bocage" but i think most people underestimate what a 40-50 ton 700 HP tank can do

"Just ramming the tank into the hedge repeatedly" that is what you do if you have the Rhino on your tank so yea

What i mean by "time" is that the Bocage were never or seldom a problem in it self, most tanks would just climb over the dirt mount and knock down the vegetation on top of it, the problem was if there were defender on the other side shooting at you.

Yup, you are underestimating the problem of the bocage. You are also overestimating the weight and power of most WWII tanks (e.g. the Sherman weighed in at around 30tons and had around 400HP power plant) and what they are capable of - tanks don't climb ten foot high near near vertical banks.

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Yup, you are underestimating the problem of the bocage. You are also overestimating the weight and power of most WWII tanks (e.g. the Sherman weighed in at around 30tons and had around 400HP power plant) and what they are capable of - tanks don't climb ten foot high near near vertical banks.

Good points. Having spend time in Normandy I know that much of the bocage has a 2-4 metre solid earth bank that would be impossible for a tank to clim as it is almost vertical.

Black: where in Sussex? I grew up in Brighton, but now live in new England

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I do not "underestimate Bocage" but i think most people underestimate what a 40-50 ton 700 HP tank can do

"Just ramming the tank into the hedge repeatedly" that is what you do if you have the Rhino on your tank so yea

What i mean by "time" is that the Bocage were never or seldom a problem in it self, most tanks would just climb over the dirt mount and knock down the vegetation on top of it, the problem was if there were defender on the other side shooting at you.

I think I have to side with Womble on this one, bocage wasn't just some vegetation. The material is so interwoven that its more on the line of an organic wall.

The German tanks couldn't push through the bocage, and the American tanks couldn't do it until the Cullins 'Rhino' devices became available.

But frankly there are plenty of bocage threads on the forums here - I'm interested in getting an answer as to why infantry can't move through barbed wire. Every infantryman in Normandy should have had wire cutters (except perhaps the airborne troops that lost a lot of their gear in their musette bags), and should be able to slowly move through, or slowly clear paths through the barbed wire.

Sure, engineers are great because they've got bangalores, or charges, and tanks are great too, but when you don't have either one, you can't tell me that they were just stopped dead in their tracks.

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+1 for Infantry units to be able to move VERY SLOWLY through barbed wire. This would simulate them using wire cutters and "Buddy-help" methods to push through the obstacles.

If not, ... I'm making a new quick battle map with a barbed wire line all across it. US attacks with only inf platoons ... Germans are up on a hill (with a single line of barbed wire all around it) with LOT's of ammo! .... anyone want to play my map? ... I'm the Germans!

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+1 for Infantry units to be able to move VERY SLOWLY through barbed wire. This would simulate them using wire cutters and "Buddy-help" methods to push through the obstacles.

I think that would be nice.. I was quite surprise too

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From (Marine 2LT and Princeton graduate) Donovan Campbell's Iraq memoir "Joker One":

My clever plan had been to dash across the street and then leap over the double-stranded concertina wire that lined its eastern sidewalk, but I clearly wasn't thinking straight -- my vertical leap is in the single digits on a good day, and weighed down by my gear and tired out from the patrols, what little athletic ability remained wasn't nearly enough to get me over the obstacle. Running up to the barbs, I jumped anyway. Predictably, both legs landed squarely in the middle of the tangled coils of wire. Flailing frantically, I managed to free my left one immediately, but my right was caught firmly by the little razors. The machine gunner had aimed in on me now; and a detached part of my mind noticed that the concrete sidewalk in front of me was erupting in little puffs of dirt. That same part of my mind absently recorded Sergeant Leza screaming behind me, "Someone get in front of the lieutenant, goddamn it. Someone get up there."...

Intently, I focused on in on my own private battle until a sudden movement to my left caught my eye. It was Raymond. I turned my head and it seemed like I watched in slow motion as somehow he catapulted himself over both strands of concertina wire, putting his body between me and the machine gun. Then the world opened up, and I watched as the rest of his team followed his lead, vaulting the concertina wire one after the other. A solid wall of four of my Marines interposed themselves between their lieutenant and the machine gun and my Marines started firing back.

Ou-rah!

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I am playing a scenario that has about 130 meters of barbed wire and I was surprised that my units couldn't get over it at all. I have a platoon there with a command squad and figured they would slowly make their way over it. Imagine my surpise when they wouldn't even take a step. If the intent of barbed wire isn't to slow (as stated in the manual), could we get an execute command so my Lt has something to do other than cuss? I am doing enough of that that he doesn't have to join in as the choir.

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The irony is that, I believe, barbed wire was invented in the US, in the West, or some such cattle country.

Designed to keep cows in check....where are those Normandy cows again......I don't think they were impassable to humans.

[unless you were Steve McQueen, in the Great Escape, at the Swiss border, on a motor cycle.]

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