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German MG Assistants only have pistols?

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Is this intentional? I noticed in the first mission of the German campaign that the MG assistants appear to be only armed with a pistol. This is also the case in regular MG teams and some squads, but not all. For example, the MG assistant in the armored Aufklarung teams has a rifle, but in the motorized teams he does not. Going back to CMBN, all of them have rifles, though they generally don't use them, which is what you would expect.

Did the Germans at this time normally do that? Even if it was the theoretical doctrine, I would find it hard to believe that they would go into combat without a rifle. Maybe in a fortified position, but not on the move. I didn't go through every unit in each game, but from what I saw the Americans/British/Italians/etc all have rifles.

I will yield the floor to grognard wisdom on this one.

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That's correct. I guess the thinking was that helping the machinegunner and carrying some extra ammo was going to be more useful than carrying a rifle. That being said, I have seen a loader repel a US squad at close range and send them to flight by emptying his pistol at them as the other men were cowering, so watch out...

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Correct. The German concept was two guys dedicated to the LMG. Which meant no need for the second guy to carry a rifle. If the LMG gunner fell he would have a LMG to use. If the assistant fell, then obviously the gunner still had the LMG. It makes sense when you view it that way.

However, manpower shortages after the disastrous 1943 summer period meant they couldn't afford this any more. When they reduced the Squad size by one man they basically kept the same number of rifles and doubled up the duties of the LMG assistant gunner with that of a rifleman. To help make up for this dual role they relied upon the increased RoF of the MG42.

IIRC the early war German Squad had 2 guys with only pistols, but one was eliminated after the Poland campaign. But my early war TO&E is a bit rusty.


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