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Russian anti-tank rifle squads


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How are you using the russian anti tank rifle squads? Their PTRD is only potent against 251 and lighter vehicles and it takes massed fire from the entire squad to be sure to take a light vehicle out (and it takes a while, not like a panzerfaust into the hull...)

I haven't had much success using the squads despite trying hard so right now I am using them more and more like flank security/observers or having them to treat casualtys that I am leaving behind me.

So any tips or hints on how to best use the anti-tank rifle squads are most welcome, as they are certenly around in the campaign and I want to be able to use them to best effect.

/Chainsaw

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I just let them plink away at whatever takes their fancy.

You'd be surprised how skittish halftracks and armoured cars become with a round coming through the armour every so often :D

They can even seriously worry or KO Hetzers from the flank.

Basically they have good utility in pushing or keeping German light armour assets further back from their infantry.

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As with all things Russian, do not deploy or use individually. Volley fire at one target and watch as it dies a death of a dozen 14'5mm AP rounds, or is unable to perform its expected battlefield role. If correctly modelled, the German player will find a slow erosion of his armoured vehicles abilities to spot, as drivers optics and vision blocks are targeted and some times hit (volley fire at one target allowed this tactic). It also forces the lightly side armoured vehicles pause for thought, as the ATR team can be hiding in many places unavailable to an AT gun.

AT fire also forces commanders to button, or risk injury, even from near misses, allowing another weapon system capable of serious damage to strike more effectively. War, like anything in Russia, was a collective undertaking and it was a layered approach that was preferred. The Western idea of the individual struggle (much-beloved by the Germans) was an alien concept, though crews who destroyed numbers of enemy platforms were honoured as an example for the rest.

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Well, they can do some substantial damage to PzIV's from the rear and most tanks (even up to tiger) are vulnerable to large massed ATR fire and can become immobilised and have optics and radio damaged.

One thing to note, however, is that you might have to give them direct orders to fire since they don't seem to do it on their own if there is no chance of a penetrating hit.

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The problem with the ATRs is their minimal after armor effects, so that it can take several penetrating hits before you disable a vehicle. On the other hand, the crew doesn't much like having the bullets flying around inside, and you can force them to back off and fail to complete their mission, which is a win for you. Given enough penetrations, they will likely bail out even when the vehicle itself is not destroyed, which is an even bigger win for you as you may be able to kill the crew after they bail.

Michael

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ATRs like the PTRD were eessentiially outmoded by 1944. Germany stopped using themin 1943 as did Britain. Still, a very closerange flank or rear shot might ge lucky. Something like a Panzerfaust on te other hand - and didn't the Soviets start using captured Panzerfausts and Panzerschreks later in the year?I seem to recall reading somewhere that they also developed something of their own towards the very end of the war.

The upshot is we cannot expect very much of Soviet ATRs in the summer of 1944 and tey probably were no that effective ayear earlier at Kursk either :D

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The first mission in Russian campaign gives one a lot of ATR's (12+?) But am halfway thru and I have yet to see a German vehicle.

I have seen them take fun pot shots at infantry (German for the most part), so not sure if it's the ATR acting like a sniper or they are using their rifle(s).

Otherwise, am using em like we use XO's etc - as medics.

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The reason the Russians continued to use them is the Germans were just nuts on light armor.

Look at a late war Panzer division TOE. At full strength and with the latest equipment, it gets about 80 Panthers, 90 Panzer IVs, and 30 Jagdpanzers or StuGs - 200 full AFVs. After a while in combat in the east, they often had only half or a quarter of that left, but that is the full strength, completely fresh complement of heavy armor.

The same division will have one full battalion of Pz Gdrs in SPWs, another 2 companies of armored recon in light SPWs (equally numerous, carrying fewer men overall and each), one company if armored pioneers in SPWs, 1 or 2 companies of armored cars in the recce battalion, 12 SPW 251/9s in the panzer grenadier regiment, another 6 in the recce battalion, Grille SP 150 sIGs in each of the 2 P Gdr battalions, mortar SPWs, flame SPWs, 12 Wespes and 6 Hummels that don't expect to get close to the enemy but are also lightly armored, some SPWs used as comm and command vehicles. Without excess SPW formations, that is another 200 to 250 lightly armored vehicles.

And then some formations had a second battalion of SPW Pz Gdrs, sometimes the Jagds or StuGs were instead split between a few of the latter and 14 thin Marders, infantry formations used those and sometimes Grilles late war, there were Nashorn formations with massive long ranged guns but thin armor, etc.

If you encountered a German armored vehicle, flip a coin, half the time an ATR could penetrated it from the front. If they didn't have added skirts, half the full AFVs or more could be penetrated from the side at close range, in addition, but that's gravy. The real reason is the cloud of ATRs anyplace the Russian infantry has reached keep the light armor half of the German armored vehicle fleet "honest".

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