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infantry following tanks


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I'm not sure you're gropos will appreciate being lined up for any AT or ranging MG near-misses... Generally, the last place infantry want to be is anywhere near armour, since it attracts fire that isn't meant to kill and wound the PBI (it's meant to kill the tank), but still manages quite nicely to anyway. And if the tank goes ka-blooie, the "cover" just became a trap that's likely to explode, if a catastrophic cook-off doesn't toast the footsloggers in the first instance.

Tanks protect infantry from small arms fire by neutralising the positions that are shooting at the pTruppen with their HE-chucker and their MGs. Then the infantry move. They are not meant to be mobile bullet shields and do a piss-poor job of that tasking.

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Newsreel films are a little misleading as to how often this tactic would have been used. WWII Film footage taken during really intense firefights is fairly rare; most of the ground combat film footage was taken during less intense engagements where this type of thing was more common.

It's a tactic that is more useful "mop up" operations against light opposition than in "hot" firefights. For example, imagine a town where organized enemy resistance has been broken, but there are still isolated enemy teams and snipers putting up resistance. There is one sniper in an unknown location somewhere down a long street. So a tank is used to shield a squad as they move across the street and get into a building with good observation so that they can try to pinpoint the sniper. You get the idea.

It's also harder to execute than you might at first think. Bear in mind that, assuming that tank is buttoned, the infantry walking behind the tank has almost no way of communicating with the crew once the tank starts moving. A moving tank is way too noisy for even shouted voice commands to work, and the crew's ability to see behind the tank when buttoned is extremely limited.

This said, it's theoretically something that would be nice to have. I suspect, though, that given the fairly intense nature of the combat in most CM scenario and danger to the nearby infantry if the tank does attract anything other other light small arms fire from the frontal aspect (VERY bad to be close to the tank if AP rounds start bouncing off it!), that players would use the tactic only very rarely even if a specialized command were available.

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Also, it's only going to protect - at best - from fire directly to the front of the tank.

So, unless there's only one enemy and the position of that enemy is known precisely, the tank simply isn't going to be very good cover. You're only going to have to be out by 1 or 2 AS's with regard to the enemy position and you're going to lose the infantry.

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Also, it's only going to protect - at best - from fire directly to the front of the tank.

ISTR that all the photos I have seen of this practice were taken in built up areas where LOF was very restricted. So it was quite possible that all the known fire was coming from in front. Of course it was also possible that enemy soldiers might be located at some off angle and waiting for the best moment to open fire, but in that case you would still be no worse off than if you were not behind the tank...with one exception. And that is, all the photos I have seen also show the crunchies bunched up behind the tank, and we all know what bunching up can get you.

Michael

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