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Just a quick quote from John Buckley's British Armour in the Normandy Campaign about tank riders:

"Nevertheless, in order to expedite the initial push on Caen on 6 June, and during the fighting in the bocage in Normandy, tank riders were pressed into service, despite the supposed disadvantages"

from the same book:

Caen was a crucial objective for D-Day, as this city and the open country to the south was viewed as the linchpin of the eastern sector, and it would be on this point that, according to Montgomery’s plan, the whole Allied front would pivot during the breakout phase. Although it was considered ambitious to attempt to seize the city within the first 24 hours, it was a clear and greatly desired intention. Crocker’s I Corps was to take Caen and the high ground to the immediate south of the city, with 3rd Infantry Division supported by 27th Armoured Brigade. ... It was deemed critical that the armour of 27th Brigade in particular be ready to support the dash to Caen by mid-morning at the latest. The infantry of the 2nd King’s Shropshire Light Infantry (2KSLI), part of 185th Brigade (3rd Division), was supposed to ride on the back of the tanks of the Staffordshire Yeomanry of 27th Armoured Brigade to facilitate a more rapid advance.[37] This was admittedly a compromise as the troops would be exposed to mortar, artillery and small-arms fire, but speed was considered essential.

However, the drive on Caen failed to materialise in the manner hoped for. The Staffordshire Yeomanry tanks became fouled up on the beaches in the morning, with their tanks at one stage remaining stationary for over an hour.[38] By early afternoon, the regiment had still not extricated itself from the congestion, a fate which also befell the 7th Field Regiment Royal Artillery, and the decision was taken for 2KSLI to proceed on foot, with the armour catching up when it could.[39] Thus, as McKee famously stated, ‘The lightning punch at Caen had been reduced to a few hundred plodding riflemen.’[40]

[37] Maj-Gen N. Tapp, letter to Carlo D’Este, 22 March 1982, cited in Decision in Normandy, p. 129.

[38] WO 171/863, Staffordshire Yeomanry War Diary, June 1944.

[39] WO 171/1325, 2nd Battalion KSLI War Diary, 6 June 1944.

[40] McKee, Caen, p. 61.

In other words, Caen was deemed sufficiently important to take extraordinary steps. This wasn't something done -in June at least - on the fly at the minor tactical level. And despite that top level decision, the infantry didn't end up riding on the tanks anyway.
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I miss tankriders for BN and FI too. I hope this will be added at a later stage. I'll pay for it.

Same here, I was disappointed when I heard about the no tank riders decision.

Michael Emrys, The sum total of what I've read on WW II tank warfare says you're wrong. In battle, it was common for tanks to be hit and the crew be none the wiser until after the battle ended. And

As it's more of a 'workload' problem for the devs, rather than a tactical doctrine problem, I'm pretty sure we will get the ability to use tanks as our battlefield taxi as the updates continue :)

As already stated by others, it should be the player who finds out the hard way, whether to use them as a mounted platform to fight from or not. We all know that modern armies have dedicated IFV's for that role.

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The Canadians where using tank riders from the start of the invasion with the Sherbrooke Fusiliers carrying the North Novas on D Day.

Lt Col Petch used the technique again on the 7th June when trying to take Carpiquet airport.

So tank riders can be seen to have been used in Normandy from the start of the invasion through to the breakout.

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I would like to see the ability to ride tanks in all versions of CMx2.....

History be damned this is a game not reality. I want the ability to ride into the fight and die gloriously with the tank when it gets hit.

I had a tank get ambushed - if there were riders this would have been bad for the ambushers.

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I would like to see the ability to ride tanks in all versions of CMx2.....

History be damned this is a game not reality. I want the ability to ride into the fight and die gloriously with the tank when it gets hit.

I had a tank get ambushed - if there were riders this would have been bad for the ambushers.

it might also have meant all the guys on the tank would be dead now......

but that doesn't really matter. BF had only said that the labor required precluded it for the upgrade. They did not say never.

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it might also have meant all the guys on the tank would be dead now......

but that doesn't really matter. BF had only said that the labor required precluded it for the upgrade. They did not say never.

Depends how much they like riding on that tank as to if they would have died defending it or not.

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Depends how much they like riding on that tank as to if they would have died defending it or not.

heh, my very first experience with tank riders was play testing Studienka. Tank rolls up towards my ambush position and a PF goes arcing through the air taking out the T34 and a LOT of red crosses on that tank. That was my "oh s**t" moment about the drawbacks of tank riding. Fortunately I was doing the ambushing. :D

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Let's keep this thread family friendly. Or at least warmongering family friendly :D

The primary reason we didn't include tank riders in Upgrade 3 is there wasn't a compelling historical reason to do so coupled with the fact that the workload to make it happen was huge. A major distraction from doing anything else for something that isn't strongly required for a game isn't smart thing to do at all. There's all kinds of things that theoretically could happen on a battlefield, and probably did from time to time, that we have to pick and choose how far down the rabbit hole we go.

It's a simple equation... X hours spent doing A means Y hours not available for B, C, D, E, F, G, etc. So we have to be careful about what we do since it also determines what we don't do.

I said it before (and sburke linked to it back around Page 7), if it were a snap of the fingers we'd have supported it despite not being very historically relevant. Unfortunately, polygons don't magically appear in the game doing exactly what one expects to do in exactly the right spots in every situation. I wish it were different because we hate the tedious nature of this stuff way more than any of you do :D

I don't know when we will have tank riders in Normandy. I suspect it will happen in the future, but there's no definitive plan for it.

Steve

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I'm sure we've all seen the videos of inf riding tanks into conquered cities, but I agree that in the front lines and battles around Normandy early in the invasion, the fighting was so close and the distances limited enough that tanks riding was either unnecessary or suicidal. I've not seen any images or videos in historical archives demonstrating this as any but very rare.

I've seen plenty where the inf was creeping behind the tank in escort/fear formation.

This series on Hulu has a lot of historical film from that period.

Dry, over dramatized and hard to watch, much of it, but instructional:

http://www.hulu.com/search?q=The+Winning+of+World+War+II%3A+Road+to+Victory

-Pv-

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I'm sure we've all seen the videos of inf riding tanks into conquered cities, but I agree that in the front lines and battles around Normandy early in the invasion, the fighting was so close and the distances limited enough that tanks riding was either unnecessary or suicidal. I've not seen any images or videos in historical archives demonstrating this as any but very rare.

I've seen plenty where the inf was creeping behind the tank in escort/fear formation.

This series on Hulu has a lot of historical film from that period.

Dry, over dramatized and hard to watch, much of it, but instructional:

http://www.hulu.com/search?q=The+Winning+of+World+War+II%3A+Road+to+Victory

-Pv-

Tank riding was used by the Canadians during their advance to various village on June 7th and by the Queens Own Rifles at Le Mesnil-Patry on June 11th. Certainly the men were expected to get the heck off the tanks when receiving fire, but it was a legit means of moving men around quickly. It was also used heavily by US infantry and US Independent Tank Battalions in the aftermath of Operation Cobra to get infantry around quickly.

The work load involved is a valid reason to not include it (or at least have a staggered rework of tanks). Saying it was not historical is not a valid reason IMO because it was used in the west. It was not an offensive tactic, but it was used to move infantry around quickly which can be useful in this game as well given the size of some of the maps.

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Tank riding was used by the Canadians during their advance to various village on June 7th and by the Queens Own Rifles at Le Mesnil-Patry on June 11th. Certainly the men were expected to get the heck off the tanks when receiving fire, but it was a legit means of moving men around quickly. It was also used heavily by US infantry and US Independent Tank Battalions in the aftermath of Operation Cobra to get infantry around quickly.

The work load involved is a valid reason to not include it (or at least have a staggered rework of tanks). Saying it was not historical is not a valid reason IMO because it was used in the west. It was not an offensive tactic, but it was used to move infantry around quickly which can be useful in this game as well given the size of some of the maps.

Not that they shouldn't include it but citing two examples to argue for policy sounds more like one is arguing for the exception to the rule become the standard. I think at this point that BF has said it will hope to institute it is enough to close off the discussion. It may happen, it might not. The deciding factor is workload. Period.

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I found an account of combat, as opposed to administrative, use of CW tank riders--from the Tunisian Campaign, specifically the Battle of Tebaga Gap, March 26, 1943. 3 RTR was part of the attack, and each tank had 2-3 NZ infantry crouched on its back. Source: Delaforce, Taming The Panzers: Monty's Tank Battlalions: 3rd RTR at War, p. 158.

Regards,

John Kettler

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The issue re tank riding seems to be the same re why have soft transports?

If soft transports and even halftracks were not seen close to the front lines, why have em in CM since CM simulates the bleeding edge of battle?

Of course it's because we players love playing with trucks, jeeps and halftracks etc. We even want to have the SdKfz 7 which as an 88mm gun tractor would hardly ever be seen close to the front line.

We also seem to want tank riders regardless of the "realism". And what is the harm??

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The issue re tank riding seems to be the same re why have soft transports?

If soft transports and even halftracks were not seen close to the front lines, why have em in CM since CM simulates the bleeding edge of battle?

Of course it's because we players love playing with trucks, jeeps and halftracks etc. We even want to have the SdKfz 7 which as an 88mm gun tractor would hardly ever be seen close to the front line.

We also seem to want tank riders regardless of the "realism". And what is the harm??

That was going to be part of my response to JonS way back when, but I got tied up with work and then thought this thread was dead, so I never responded (plus, I was tired of dwelling on the negative and wanted to just relax and enjoy the goodies in the 3.0 upgrade).

But since the point has been made...exactly. If we so choose, we can do a-historical moves with pretty much everything in the game whenever we want. Want to send a platoon of pioneers on a halftrack thunder run right into the jaws of a platoon of Shermans? No problem! But, on a huge map, you want to give your US/CW HQ a ride on a tank in safe territory after his vehicle gets stuck in the mud? Sorry, pal--he's gotta' hoof it. That's beyond the pale.

The fact is, this, just like most everything in the game as it is currently given to players, should be left to the player's own discretion and house rules. In light of how the game currently works and our ability to use the given equipment as we see fit, trying to justify disallowing tank riders for the western allies at this stage in the war, across the board, is really an arbitrary sop to a minority grog view at the expense of fun and richness in the game. You could use exactly the same logic to cut most soft vehicles and halftracks from all but the largest scenarios, as well as linear and point artillery from the game entirely (some players use house rules limiting arty to area fire on grounds of historical accuracy).

At the micro level, allowing tank riding is more realistic, not less. Men could ride on tanks. Depending on the use of course, it can become very unrealistic--like pretty much anything in the game that the player is in charge of. But used realistically and well, and they can add a lot of enjoyment and yes, realism, to the game. CMBO had them. ASL allows them after 1943 for all nationalities. We should have them, too.

I'm pretty sure we will, as soon as BF can get around to it. At this point, there isn't really any point in continuing the debate, as BF simply not having the time is the issue--not arbitrary grog policy.

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I'm pretty sure we will, as soon as BF can get around to it. At this point, there isn't really any point in continuing the debate, as BF simply not having the time is the issue--not arbitrary grog policy.

Yep. Honestly not even sure when the discussion launched into the issue of "historical accuracy" and whether that position was ever voiced by BF. For CMRT it was almost a requirement to work on tanks as infantry transport because of a specific tactical capability in the soviet army. I think this is more or less one of those items where they have to figure out where to invest their time and for CMBN and CMFI it just wasn't from their view worth that effort of looking at tac AI issues etc. I am not even sure they are real happy with the current way it functions, but at a basic level it is working. CMRT was different and an added benefit in 3.0 in terms of map sizing has altered the decision factors for the earlier games. Whether we will see it is still up in the air, but I expect by the time the bulge game comes out we will and that will be followed by an engine upgrade to CMBN and CMFI, just my two cents worth. Mostly I think it is a matter of figuring out how to pay for the effort to redo vehicle models. $10 upgrades aren't gonna do it, but including it in the effort for bulge seems far more likely.

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...Whether we will see it is still up in the air, but I expect by the time the bulge game comes out we will and that will be followed by an engine upgrade to CMBN and CMFI, just my two cents worth. Mostly I think it is a matter of figuring out how to pay for the effort to redo vehicle models. $10 upgrades aren't gonna do it, but including it in the effort for bulge seems far more likely.

That's my thinking and hope, too. I'd be completely happy with them being part of the paid upgrade package following the release of the Bulge family. As you know, sburke, it's never been an issue of money with me. I've been as vigilant as any trying to slap sense into the heads of the folks who can't understand what a great deal the paid upgrades are. And, as I've said in many threads now, the 3.0 upgrade for BN/FI is totally worth it without tank riders.

I just strongly feel that every little bit of micro-realism ultimately enriches the game experience. My example above was one that happened to me in CMRT. My company HQ got stuck and had to hitch a ride on a passing tank. Between the HQ and the driver of the stuck hafltrack, they grabbed all the ammo and went on to link up with their troops. It was a very cool little micro-story. I'd like to have that option for BN/FI as well (I am super-careful with tank riders and have lost very few so far).

Also, I want the upgrade system to hold to the original concept of functionality parity being maintained between the families. If it has to be done over multiple upgrade packages after new families have been released--that's fine. I accept that reality and am happy to pay for the extended upgrades.

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That's my thinking and hope, too. I'd be completely happy with them being part of the paid upgrade package following the release of the Bulge family. As you know, sburke, it's never been an issue of money with me. I've been as vigilant as any trying to slap sense into the heads of the folks who can't understand what a great deal the paid upgrades are. And, as I've said in many threads now, the 3.0 upgrade for BN/FI is totally worth it without tank riders.

I just strongly feel that every little bit of micro-realism ultimately enriches the game experience. My example above was one that happened to me in CMRT. My company HQ got stuck and had to hitch a ride on a passing tank. Between the HQ and the driver of the stuck hafltrack, they grabbed all the ammo and went on to link up with their troops. It was a very cool little micro-story. I'd like to have that option for BN/FI as well (I am super-careful with tank riders and have lost very few so far).

Also, I want the upgrade system to hold to the original concept of functionality parity being maintained between the families. If it has to be done over multiple upgrade packages after new families have been released--that's fine. I accept that reality and am happy to pay for the extended upgrades.

+1 couldent agree more..

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At the micro level, allowing tank riding is more realistic, not less. Men could ride on tanks. Depending on the use of course, it can become very unrealistic--like pretty much anything in the game that the player is in charge of. But used realistically and well, and they can add a lot of enjoyment and yes, realism, to the game. CMBO had them. ASL allows them after 1943 for all nationalities. We should have them, too.

Maybe the thing to do is to allow Western infantry units to refuse to ride tanks when within range of known or suspected enemy units. When ordered to board a tank under those conditions, the infantry must pass a "mount check." If they fail (and better-trained units are *more* likely to fail this check), they refuse to board and they immediately become "shaken" because they've realized that their officers are reckless amateurs.

We're talking realism, after all...

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