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JonS last won the day on August 15 2015

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About JonS

  • Birthday 01/10/1971

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  • Biography
    Combat Mission Forum Member #8
  • Location
    53 miles west of Venus
  • Occupation
    Sifting. And Loafing. Loafing and sifting.

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  1. Try and find a copy of 'a CANLOAN officer' by Reginald Fendick. He spent the NWE campign in 3 Divs MG Bn. As well as the narritive history and his experiences, he talks a lot about the theory and practice of MMG usage. In previous years I've quoted fairly extensively here from his book. There's also this; http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-WH2-27Ba.html
  2. I strongly recommend you never go to Sandford, in Cheshire. It's attractive enough, in a cliché olde worlde way, but the crime level there is simply appalling.
  3. There is a saying about the British Army: they tend to lose evey battle, except the last one. Of course, it's only the last one that really matters.
  4. Yeah ... nah. Rolling barrages worked like a treat, as long as the gunners and divisional staff knew their business. Recon was vital, as it was in WWI, as well as retaining a degree of flexibility in execution, which was realised by having batterys 'superimposed' on the firing lines. That way, if a target of opportunity arose then the superimposed battery could be lifted off the barrage and given an immediate neutralisation target on the MG position ... or whatever the holdup was that just appeared. Obviously(?) good comms between the forward observers and the gun line was also crucial. Incidentally, a rolling barrage was really resource intensive, and it wasn't really rolling. Imagine three batterys, each firing their own linear 100m long, with 100m between each line. They would all start together, then after a certain amount of time - as the friendly infantry approach the nearest line of fire - the battery ceases fire on the first line and starts again on a new fourth line 100m beyond the third line. The guns keep banging away for another 20 mins which gives the infantry time to close up on the next line, then the second battery ceases fire and switches to another linear 100m beyond the fourth line. And so on. If you want more width then add more batterys to the left and right on each line (each battery can cover about a linear about 100m long). If the enemy position is particularly strong - or if the position hasn't been recce'd very well - then add more lines in depth so that each line gets beaten up for longer. If the infantry are able to advance quickly then shorten the interval before shifting to the next line, and vice versa if the infantry are unable to move quickly then lengthen the time that the guns dwell on each line. Examples of use in WWII are legion - Alamein is the obvious first example (although there was at least one in France in 1940, IIRC), including several by the Aussies during their 'crumbling' operation on the northern flank. There were more at Tebaga Gap, Enfidaville, Cassino, and points further north. They were also fairly common in Normandy, and Op VERITABLE opened with a famously huge one. On 11th July 1944 2nd US Infantry Div used a rolling barrage to (successfully) take Hill 192^. In fact, the break in of all of those examples were successful. Coincidence? No, not really. ^ LtCol Donald C. Little "Artillery support in the capture of Hill 192" Military Review vol. XXVIII No.3 March 1948 pp. 31-37 reproduced here See also Bailey, Field artillery and firepower, multiple pages but especially p.204-206
  5. I can't recommend Battle (also released as Anatomy of a Battle) by Kenneth Macksey enough, for stuff like this. Macksey fought through the Normandy campaign himself, and this is a thinly fictionalised account of a generic battle in Normandy from multiple perspectives, from soup to nuts, and spends quite a lot of time on the pre-battle preparations; liaison, movement, fire planning, logistic arrangements, along with reconnaissance and planning. It's quite old now - it was released in about 1974 - but a good mil-hist library, or university library should(?) have a copy. Alternately try interloan, or second hand book places (meatspace and online). The putative battle that Macksey describes would make for a pretty good CM scenario. I know that because I made one several years ago
  6. Topic is *after* the breakout, so; 1. Cinderella army, by Terry Copp (and other books by Copp) 2. Monty’s Men, by Buckley (and anything else by Buckley) 3. 18 Platoon, by Jary 4. Stout Hearts, by Kite 5. Corps Commanders, by Delaney 6. The 56th Infantry Brigade, by Holborn 7. Air power at the battlefront, by Gooderson 8. South Alberta’s, by Graves 9. The Guns of victory, by Blackburn (best read as the last of his trilogy) 10. For short-form writing, the Canadian Military History journal has their extensive back catalogue freely available on line. The last several volumes appear to have focussed mainly on WWI, so you’ll have to go through the back editions aways to find anything on NWE. (I personally thought the Whitaker’s book on the Rhineland was *terrible*)
  7. from a physics perspective; I call bull****. But soldiers are a superstitious bunch, so from a behavioural perspective; maybe?
  8. It's also free here as a PDF, meaning you can read it on any device. The rest of the Green Books are there too.
  9. The noise of time, Julian Barnes It's the summer holidays here, some I'm doing a bit of off-reservation reading before varsity starts again.
  10. That is not, as far as I know, true, and hasn’t been for quite some time. In many (most?) militaries these days the issues created by dumping guys and girls straight out of combat back into their home environments is well know. Policy is now to extract them, do any post tour admin (hand in ammo, clean stuff for customs, etc) then have a deliberate period (at least several days, and often a week) in a closed environment to decompress. Ready access to alcohol, no programme or timetable except a scheduled session with the psych. Fight, get drunk, yell at each other, sing stupid songs loudly out of tune, talk, sleep, etc. Now, you can argue that a couple of days - or even a week - isn't nearly long enough, but that's quite different to the military just ignoring the issue.
  11. The quiet american, by graham greene
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