Jump to content

Riding in halftracks


A co
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm sure this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find the thread.

I've just been noticing how vulnerable riders in German halftracks are to small arms fire. I don't mean the MG gunner but the passengers whose heads are all lined up above the rim of the armored side, regardless of suppression level.

Yes, I know the halftrack is not an assault vehicle or an IFV, etc., but stuff happens when you leave the barracks.

Does anyone recall whether BFC had any plans to position the riders lower in future, or has the thing been officially decreed Not A Problem?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just been noticing how vulnerable riders in German halftracks are to small arms fire. I don't mean the MG gunner but the passengers whose heads are all lined up above the rim of the armored side, regardless of suppression level.

...

Does anyone recall whether BFC had any plans to position the riders lower in future, or has the thing been officially decreed Not A Problem?

I had noticed this myself recently. Good question.

Any answers to his question?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the helpful links.

I am not asking here about a case of the armor being penetrated, which would show a hit text if that were happening. Indeed, half-tracks are lightly armored.

A good part of previous discussions was about the proper use of half-tracks as troop transporters. What I am thinking is that regardless of what the player is tactically doing or not doing with his half-tracks, the passengers' heads should not be exposed over the rim of the armor, sitting at attention. Or certainly not the heads of the entire squad, and certainly not after a bunch of them have just been hit.

It would be nice to see something like their sitting position being lowered. For my part I wouldn't care if it made it look like their feet were dragging on the ground, if the limits of the coding causes something like that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, hunching forward might even look better as well as function better for this purpose. I mainly suggested lowering their position because it might be easier to code. Pure speculation on my part, though.

My guess is you are correct. Hunching would require additional animation. Lowering would be done on individual vehicle positioning. That isn't a minor item as there are a lot of half track models, but still less I suspect than a new animation would require. I also don't know how much room there is to adjust before they start poking through the floor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I can't get my head around is that it seems they could have made halftracks immune to small arms fire (in real life) if they had just made the armour plating a little bit thicker. The armour seems overdimensioned for shrapnel and understrength for bullets.

Anyway, history aside, I also find it pretty odd that the passengers don't duck down a bit and just sit there and get shot like crash test dummies. If BF fixed this it would be much appreciated, at least by me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My guess is you are correct. Hunching would require additional animation. Lowering would be done on individual vehicle positioning. That isn't a minor item as there are a lot of half track models, but still less I suspect than a new animation would require. I also don't know how much room there is to adjust before they start poking through the floor.

I'd rather all "seated passengers" were hunched over than the current bolt-upright stance. Sitting up straight is all very well for parades in Berlin and Moscow, but on any CM map, hunched over makes more sense more of the time. Even not under fire, passengers would hunch down to get the benefit of the kubel/jeep's windshield, even if they weren't in danger of coming under fire... And the rate my vehicles roar about the battlefield, any approximation of upright would soon be rendered hunched as the passengers hang on for grim death. So it wouldn't need to be an extra animation, just a different one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One thing I can't get my head around is that it seems they could have made halftracks immune to small arms fire (in real life) if they had just made the armour plating a little bit thicker. The armour seems overdimensioned for shrapnel and understrength for bullets.

I expect you may be familiar with the adage that all engineering is about compromise. So the question becomes one of immune to which bullets fired from what range and impacting the armor at what angle? Once that is decided, then it is a fairly straightforward matter to calculate what thickness of what kind of armor is required. But the matter does not stop there, because armor has weight and increasing armor is inevitably going to also increase weight unless a new, lighter alloy can be devised that is equally effective. But that was probably not possible or not economical during that era. So how much extra weight can an HT be toting around before its performance is diminished to the point where it cannot achieve its assigned mission or stuff like running gear, transmissions, and even engines are breaking under the strain? I don't know. I simply do not have the information necessary to make those calculations. I do know that HTs were built the way they were because it was possible to do so. Until we know what else might have been both possible and better, I for one am not going to criticize what was done. HTs and APCs in all armies that built them did more or less what was required of them. They could not do other things that might have been desired, but that is life.

Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember reading somewhere that even relatively modern APCs (I think it was referring specifically to the M113) remained vulnerable to close range full-rifle-cartridge MG fire at near-normal incidence. So making a Hanomag "proof" against small arms would seem to be further off than you'd think (meaning that the compromise point would be very difficult or expensive to achieve). While the armour might seem overdesigned for shrapnel, it still provides good resistance to distant small arms fire and is almost totally resistant to SMG fire. Since they weren't meant to be rushing into the teeth of unsuppressed small arms, the protection they provided against incidental impacts was evidently deemed adequate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bulletpoint,

My understanding is that the poor (as in suffering, not the vehicle was lousy) halftrack underneath was already heavily burdened. To assess how burdened, it might be worthwhile to compare the horsepower to weight ratio of the halftrack tractor and the Panzer version. Then go back and add in the passengers and all the other items and recalculate. Admittedly, it's not exact, since we don't know the weight of the superstructure, which would be substantial. I think the odds of getting just the chassis weight are small. If ground pressure numbers are available, that would also be useful. CMBB Strategy Guide might be useful for this drill, since I know it uses ground pressure as one category in the vehicle tables. Way back in the early 1970s was my first real information encounter regarding the 251 vs the M3 HT. It came in a brief article in Squadron magazine and concluded the 251 was better armored, while the M3 was far better in automotive terms. What, given the pronounced rake, is the effective armor protection of the 251 for a ground level (not air attack) strike into the fighting compartment and perpendicular to the AFV's longitudinal axis?

Baneman,

Lopping off feet and cutting bodies in half? What more proof do we need you're a lineal descendant of Procrustes? If you're in the hospitality business, I'm taking a staycation? While we're on such neologisms, did you know that "glamping" is now in the dictionary and that the new OED word this year is "selfie?"

Regards,

John Kettler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What, given the pronounced rake, is the effective armor protection of the 251 for a ground level (not air attack) strike into the fighting compartment and perpendicular to the AFV's longitudinal axis?

From level, dead ahead, the Hanomags were pretty much proof against even AP-core rifle-calibre ammo. At least according to any penetration tables that I've seen and (barring hits on vision slits and the occasional strange glitch) that's represented by the game. Unfortunately, the battlefield often has fire coming from other directions, and the flanks are less well protected, plunging fire will rake the passenger compartment, and anyone trying to fire back is taking a risk, especially if they're subject to fire from off the axis of their gun, or there's any plunging element to it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Armour thickness on the 251/1 (off the top of my head) was around 14.5mm front, I think around 8mm on the sides. can't mid the rear. re the 8mm I can't recall if that was the equivalent thickness (due to the sloped armour) or vertical, in which case if would be the equivalent of more.

I'm pretty sure a 7.62mm would only go through around 6mm of steel plate - although that would be easy to check in t'internet eh?

In all the accounts I've read I've not heard of bullet rounds going through although i did read Peiper's SPW unit bolted extra armour onto the front of their 251/1 Cs to combat ATR rifles punching through the frontal armour. in fact they even did their own tests to check how bullet proof their SPW were when they first got them. Hence why the started adding extra plate to the front. As shown in this image:

Snapshot164.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Armour thickness on the 251/1 (off the top of my head) was around 14.5mm front, I think around 8mm on the sides. can't mid the rear. re the 8mm I can't recall if that was the equivalent thickness (due to the sloped armour) or vertical, in which case if would be the equivalent of more.

I'm pretty sure a 7.62mm would only go through around 6mm of steel plate - although that would be easy to check in t'internet eh?

Modern 7.62mmx54R ball is rated at 8mm RHA @ 500m, 0 deg. angle., so it should sometimes penetrate 251/1 side/rear armor, especially at short ranges with fairly flat hits.

I don't know how the modern 7.62mmx54R ball projectile compares to the WWII-era one, though. Mv is about the same, but there may be differences in the bullet construction.

7.62mmx54R AP rates considerably higher in armor penetration, but I don't know how common AP-I in the loadout of WWII Red Army infantry. U.S. WWII infantry carried substantial amounts of .30-'06 AP (amongst others, BAR gunners were usually allocated some). But I don't know if the Red Army was at all similar in this regard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Years ago I used to work with an old WWII jungle fighter and he told me a story. His unit had just arrived in the Pacific and were called together by the captain. Standing beside a halftrack he was giving the men a pep talk before battle. He instructed them to NOT rely on their half tracks for cover when they come under fire, to get out of the vehicle and return fire. To emphasize his point he then whipped his Colt pistol from its holster and plugged a hole into the half track, giving the surprised soldiers quite a fright! After that talk nobody in his unit ever used their HT armor as cover from fire. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, hunching forward might even look better as well as function better for this purpose. I mainly suggested lowering their position because it might be easier to code. Pure speculation on my part, though.

My guess is you are correct. Hunching would require additional animation. Lowering would be done on individual vehicle positioning. That isn't a minor item as there are a lot of half track models, but still less I suspect than a new animation would require. I also don't know how much room there is to adjust before they start poking through the floor.

So, this brings up the basic question: Should HT riders be ducking down lower in the back? This has come up a few times but I do not recall seeing a definitive answer. I cannot say my men have suffered casualties, except from fire from above, but I know some people have expressed a concern.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MikeyD,

That is one heck of a demonstration. I really do have doubts about doing that with .45 ACP from a M1911A1, but that's not the only kind of Colt that saw battle, either. the Colt .45 earned its reputation in fighting against the Moros in the Philippines, but most people don't know that was the .45 Long Colt, something altogether more potent. That might well pierce an M3 halftrack's armor at close range, likely injuring the shooter in the process. The muzzle velocity for the Long Colt is nearly 50% greater than the .45 ACP, and the Muzzle Energy is nearing a factor of three higher. See first entry at link for the details.

https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110610063944AAyMwVU

Regards,

John Kettler

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...