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Ammunition Confusion


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This is the same issues pointed out in the CMBS ATGM thread.  The right shows total including shared ammo with nearby PIATS.  The left is the team's actual ammo.  It can be very confusing at first glance and am not sure of the benefit of doing it this way.

Edited by Thewood1
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This is the same issues pointed out in the CMBS ATGM thread.  The right shows total including shared ammo with nearby PIATS.  The left is the team's actual ammo.  It can be very confusing at first glance and am not sure of the benefit of doing it this way.

I'm sure *someone* is benefitting from it, but it certainly confuses the heck out of me!

Thanks for the reply. :)

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You have two PIAT teams near each other. Or one team and a nearby bren carrier. The PIAT team is carrying 9 rounds, and has access to 20 rounds. What that means is that the PIAT team can sit up there in it's current position firing all day if you want, and you don't need to worry about re-supply.

 

You see the same thing with mortars, a lot. With them you have to be particularly careful, because it's quite easy to inadvertently drain an entire platoon by giving one barrel a long-heavy mission. It's not likely that a single PIAT will actually fire 20 rounds, even in the best of circumstances. It is very likely, though, that a single mortar might pump out 80-or-so wounds.

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So what is the benefit fo doing it this way?  There must be one that I have not encountered yet.

Well, as I said, it shows that the PIAT team is carrying 9 rounds, and has access to 20 rounds. What that means is that the PIAT team can sit up in it's current position firing all day if you want, and you don't need to worry about re-supply.

 

Incidentally, it applies to all(?) ammo natures, and is especially useful in the context of MGs.

Edited by JonS
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Thanks, JonS, you confirmed what I sort of figured out by experimenting in CMBN just a few minutes ago. I was trying to see the utility of it and realized that for something like a Bazooka or mortar this could be quite handy indeed as one might have LOS and its neighbour not yet if you don't want to reposition the one that doesn't you can keep firing the one that does. It makes sense, but took a bit of pondering to wrap my head around until I realized that.

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Take the example JonS gives of MG squads: they have ammo bearer teams which share their ammo with the MG team. That shared ammo is used up first (if you're up to date in the engine), so the bearers can toddle off and go get some more ammo once they're empty, while the MG continues firing off the ammo that the "organic" bearers in that team are carrying. It's essential, for this to work, that you know how much ammo each of the two elements currently has. Having the combined total visible somewhere when they're in sharing range is also pretty useful, because

  1. it indicates that you've got them close enough to share,
  2. it gives you accurate, no-arithmetic-required information about how much ammo the MG actually has available to hurl downrange.
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The other benefit is to BFC and these forums.  Can you imagine the threads we would have if units with no ammo left were magically still firing because they had access to shared ammo but there was no indication of it :D

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Thanks, Womble.

You are of course correct. Initilly I wasn't aware what was happening, so the dramatic fluctuations in ammo levels were confusing. Once I knew what it was for, it took a bit of thinking to see the purpose.

It does mean, however, that for units like ATGMs in CMBS, where each unit may only come with 4, say, one must be vigilant that other u its are not all depleted. It's something to watch out for, but it's certainly useful.

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I have to admit that I had never seen this with PIATs before. Probably because I always dish out all available HEAT ammo during the set-up phase, (or on the first turn that any reinforcements arrive). Of course, now that it has been pointed out, I have noticed in the mission that i am currently playing that I have two US Bazooka teams just a few yards apart and that they are capable of sharing ammo.

 

That is one of the great things about CM and this forum, you never stop learning.

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Bud_B,

 

I have had the opportunity to pick up and dry fire a PIAT. The thing is very heavy (built like a tank from quite thick steel) and awkward, and it's all the gunner, complete with field pack, canteen, ET and other gear,  can do to simply carry it into battle. Consequently, he has no ammo for it. Given the size and bulk of the ammo carrier, which I believe holds only three rounds, based on comparing the length of the PIAT bomb with the three tube PIAT bomb carrier, his assistant would appear to be able to carry only six rounds, each of which weighs 3 pounds. Here's a shot of what I'm talking about.

http://www.driveatank.com/featured/piat/

 

In this vid, the gunner comes into position with two PIAT ammo carriers carried into battle by his assistant, also burdened by his field pack and other gear. I may well be wrong, but I believe that BFC may have been overly generous in issuing PIAT ammo for man carriage by the team. This assessment is, of course, incorrect if the carrier can somehow hold six PIAT bombs. 

 

 

(goes off and does more research)

 

This photo, taken from the PIAT Wiki, unmistakably proves there is absolutely no way to get six PIAT bombs into a single three tube carrier, since it is self-evidently only slightly longer than a PIAT bomb. Given this, I'd very much like to know where BFC came up with an ammo supply for the PIAT team of nine rounds. The scarce photographic coverage and very sparse footage support my argument, but they don't necessarily prove the PIAT team went into battle armed with only six rounds. Perhaps a CW grog or BFC would care to comment?  

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PIAT#/media/File:PIAT_AT-SPG_CDN_WWII.jpg

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler
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John,

 

Men going into combat tend to "bomb up". How much do I carry when grocery shopping? Far less than when I think I may be in a firefight and then have to evade in the wilderness for several days. ;)

 

You tend to gravitate towards internet references. If you'd only browsed your own link you just posted, you'd see this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PIAT#/media/File:Australian_PIAT_team_Balikpapan.jpg  That image clearly shows the ammo man carrying 2 of the three-packs. Now, if I were a PIAT-man, I'd carry the damn launcher AND my own three-pack. So, that's my 3 plus my ammo bearer's 6: 9 in toto.

 

If you want your men to carry less, open the editor and drop the ammo supply level to something other than "full". I don't think your men will thank you for doing them that favor. ;)

 

Bombing up is great tradition of men who may die if they run out of ammo. Men who are overburdened (btw, infantry has carried the same ~80-100lbs of gear since the times of Romans, or earlier), tend to shed stuff they consider excess. Poorly disciplined troops are more prone to this. Their route of march would be covered in discarded bits of kit. In ANY account of such discarding, I have never heard of men tossing out ammo. Better too much, than to run out when your life depends on it.

 

9 bombs? No problem.

 

Ken

Edited by c3k
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You tend to gravitate towards internet references. If you'd only browsed your own link you just posted, you'd see this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PIAT#/media/File:Australian_PIAT_team_Balikpapan.jpg  That image clearly shows the ammo man carrying 2 of the three-packs.

To add to that wonderful rant, Balikpapan is not exactly well known for it's infantry-armour confrontations. In other words, if the infantry took that many bombs going into a fight where they knew there'd be no enemy armour, imagine how many they'd have carted about in Europe.

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c3k,

 

Am familiar with the concept of bombing up. But let's look at your proposal, shall we? The bare PIAT launcher weight 32 pounds. The PIAT gunner still has to carry his own personal effects, rations, water, ET and such. If he's not at the magic 45 lb figure with just that plus uniform and tin hat, he's got to be close, but I'd expect well over. Now, you want this poor man, dealing with a very awkward bone bruising monstrosity already, to carry, in his other hand, something like 10 more pounds. Which are swinging while he's moving. Three shots plus carrier weight. Maybe it was done, but absent direct evidence (which I'd love to see) to the contrary, I'm strongly inclined to go with 6 rounds per team, not 9. This is what the MOD approved (had to be or couldn't have been shown) newsreel showed, it's what the pic showed, and it fits the militarily reasonable model. There is/was (talking about YT, after all) a British training film on the PIAT. If that could be found, it might prove useful, as likely would a training manual. Bombing up with hand grenades is one thing; PIAT bombs another. If certain accounts are to be believed, US hand grenade issue in the game is very light. Normal issue per soldier was two, but in the attack, it was four. To me, that's eminently reasonable bombing up. Finally, I clearly stated, after scrutinizing the newsreel, the AG came into position with two x three tube carriers. That is six rounds. We are in complete agreement there regarding what's shown. The Balikpapan pic also supports my assertion. The AG has two carriers on his back, with one open hole. That round is in the PIAT, and the AG has his Enfield out to protect the gunner. Since I don't have any CW weapon or training manuals and have almost no other books on the CW, I pretty much have to go with internet research, particularly the admittedly scanty visual evidence. That a PIAT gunner can, under certain circumstances, carry the PIAT and an ammo carrier is not in dispute. You can read about exactly that in one VC producing engagement and can see it in the "Dixon gets a Panther" part of "Theirs is the Glory." The last, though, isn't some poor Tommy who's been tromping through Normandy all day, but someone in an HQ under attack who goes out to deal with the problem carrying only a PIAT and one bomb carrier pack. 

 

JonS,

 

If you thought my post was a rant, then what do you call your wholly unwarranted explosion on me, with Bulletpoint as collateral, over on the Katusha: Girl Soldier thread on CMRT? That was a rant!  In case you've forgotten, that was in your Nos. 8 and 10 here. Be sure to credit yourself with yet another direct violation of the Forum Rules for name calling in your No. 10!

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler
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LOL, Thewood1 seems to be giving you good advice.

 

Were =I= the Piat gunner, going into combat, I'd figure out how to carry extra! ;) 

 

(In similar manner, columns of infantry were frequently given extra mortar shells to carry. Once they got near the jumping off point, they'd dump 'em near the mortar emplacement. Men can carry a LOT of ammo. As I said, anything extra will get ditched. Ammo and weapons would be retained to the end.)

 

Infantry carry stuff. A 3-pack (which can be slung like a backpack) of ammo is piddling. 

 

Look at the ammo carrier in the picture. ALL he is carrying is the dual 3-pack. Where is all that other dross you mentioned? Yeah, who cares. It's waiting for him back there, if he survives. If he doesn't, he won't want it.

 

Don't try to overanalyze this based on charts and regs. Think about sweaty men going into combat. A bit different...

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Not the least funny thing about this, uh, discussion is that out of the box PIAT teams in CMBN come with 6 rounds. So, the team in the OP has bombed up from somewhere during the current scenario. This is trivially obvious to everyone ... except for those without a clue, or perhaps those with an axe to grind.

Edited by JonS
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