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Splitting Russian groups into teams.


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Hello been playing Red Thunder lately, I have been splitting my Russian squads into teams. I do this to try and keep losses down. However I have noticed even my Veteran troops which are rested tend to break and run very easily. My question is would I be better to take the losses by not splitting into groups, is there some kind of morale penalty for deviding my group into 3 teams instead of leaving them in one big group ? They still break even if I have a leader unit nearby. Thanks again for reading.

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@StefanKollers Kind of depends on the situation.  In urban terrain I would almost always split them.  In more open terrain maybe not.  From my notes:

Soviet squads don't often have Assistant leaders, so splitting will pretty much always drop one teams Leadership rating, as well as imposing the "rule-based" penalty for operating counter to doctrine.

Engine manual 4.0 page 61: Syrian, Soviet & Italian Armies will suffer a morale penalty if split teams are out of close visual and voice C2 of the Platoon HQ.

Edited by MOS:96B2P
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On 7/7/2019 at 5:50 PM, MOS:96B2P said:

Soviet squads don't often have Assistant leaders, so splitting will pretty much always drop one teams Leadership rating, as well as imposing the "rule-based" penalty for operating counter to doctrine. 

This is wrong. Machinegunner was leader assistant according to TO&E 04/550 (December 1942).  

https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/dms_mk1/42227490/452636/452636_original.png

"Зам. командиров отделений - наводчиков" - "Squad leader assistants - gunners".

"Мл. сержант" - "Junior sergeant"

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3 hours ago, DMS said:

This is wrong. Machinegunner was leader assistant according to TO&E 04/550 (December 1942).  

Maybe a language / translation issue my friend.  :)  I said often which means frequently.  So, frequently the Soviet squads do not have an assistant is what I related.  This is based on my experience in the game and following topics on the forums.   

Also, are you talking about in the game or in real life (RL)?  If you are talking about how it was in RL I'm sure you, @Aurelius and many others know more about it than I know. Other than mild curiosity I'm really only interested in how it works in the game.  I'll let others, smarter than myself, debate how it was in RL.   :)          

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12 minutes ago, MOS:96B2P said:

Maybe a language / translation issue my friend.  :)  I said often which means frequently.  So, frequently the Soviet squads do not have an assistant is what I related.  This is based on my experience in the game and following topics on the forums.   

Also, are you talking about in the game or in real life (RL)?  If you are talking about how it was in RL I'm sure you, @Aurelius and many others know more about it than I know. Other than mild curiosity I'm really only interested in how it works in the game.  I'll let others, smarter than myself, debate how it was in RL.   :)  

Yes, of course, I mean IRL. Just wanted to note it, may be developers or beta testers will see my post. Excuse me if it sounded rude, yes, language issue.

In 1941 in TO&E were no assistants, may be that's why in the game we don't see them. 

2 hours ago, Aurelius said:

Is there a difference between наводчиков- gunner and пулеметчиков- machinegunner? Both are listed as 6 per platoon.

Machinegunner assistant was called "machinegunner" and machinegunner was called наводчик, I translated it as gunner.

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@MOS:96B2P  I was referring to the document that DMS posted. I had Russian in high school, but alas the curriculum didn't encompass military terminology... 😄

@DMS Considering the ranks (junior sergeant and красноармеец=private?) that makes sense. Thanks for clarifying it!

As for any RL discussions about this issue, I would have to refer to partisan tactics because they were the ones fighting in the war (much of it is actually a basis for our modern day tactics), though I doubt it would be of any use. For the Soviet side of the story, it is up to our ex-Soviet friends to dig up and share, if they are wiling.

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36 minutes ago, DMS said:

Yes, of course, I mean IRL. Just wanted to note it, may be developers or beta testers will see my post. Excuse me if it sounded rude, yes, language issue.

+1 No problem my friend.  I always enjoy reading your knowledgeable, informative posts.  

 

17 minutes ago, Aurelius said:

For the Soviet side of the story, it is up to our ex-Soviet friends to dig up and share, if they are wiling.

+1.  Yes, I bet they have some interesting stories.  

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28 minutes ago, DMS said:

Yes, of course, I mean IRL. Just wanted to note it, may be developers or beta testers will see my post.

I am not an expert either just want to impart that the game design decision for the leadership / morale penalty for splitting Soviet squads was done to reflect the doctrine they used and the less flexible NCO leadership. Regardless of if a member of the squad was labelled an assistant leader or not this is the design goal of the way splitting was handled. If a change was made to label someone the assistant that goal and the method to achieve it would not change.

I found some comments direct from Steve here http://community.battlefront.com/topic/112368-discussion-of-soviet-offensive-tactics/?tab=comments#comment-1486838:

Quote

he Italians don't have any special modifications other than they weren't allowed to split. Besides that there aren't any differences on the game design standpoint, but as you say in gameplay they are totally different because of the factors I just mentioned.

The Soviets (and soon Italians) can split their Squads, but with a steep morale penalty if the split off unit becomes isolated. This is because they do not have dedicated, trained assistant Squad Leaders like the Germans and Western Allies do.

Lots of interesting discussions around this an be found with this Google search: https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=site%3Acommunity.battlefront.com+soviet+squad+splitting

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When CMSF2 was being assembled it was decided to give Syrians the same split squad characteristics as old Soviet units. I was surprised to find CMRT units to be  as (relatively) flexible as they were. I thought I recalled (from an early Beta build?) that the Soviets could only split off two man scout teams and nothing else. I suspect if it weren't for the requirement to split units for 'tank riding' that BFC would have been happy to impose no Russian split squads at all on the game.

Edited by MikeyD
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17 hours ago, IanL said:

the doctrine they used and the less flexible NCO leadership

I think that reason of more tight Soviet formations is different. Messengers. In 1941 TO&E in company was 1 messenger and in platoon 1 messenger. Absolutely not enough, Germans had 4 in company HQ and 2 in platoon HQ. In 04/550 TO&E (12.1942) (that I posted above) no messengers at all! Second reason is that Soviet divisions were always under strength in 1944-1945. It is Stavka decision: to keep 7000-men divisions. If your company has 70 men, it is not reasonable to use 15-20 men platoons (with 1-2 machineguns) independently. 

What's about NCOs, well, they were able to keep soldiers in line. To make line formation in the game you have to split squads.

12 hours ago, MikeyD said:

requirement to split units for 'tank riding'

By the way, in BUP-42 (Infantry combat manual - 42) is said that SMG gunners must act by groups of 4-5 men. SMG platoons ("avtomatchiki") were considered as "special" infantry for infiltrating and surprise attacks from flank or rear, not like rifle platoons. 

18 hours ago, Aurelius said:

For the Soviet side of the story, it is up to our ex-Soviet friends to dig up and share, if they are wiling.

I am eager to help with documents from electronic archive pamyat-naroda.ru. 

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  • 6 months later...
On 7/9/2019 at 4:37 AM, DMS said:

This is wrong. Machinegunner was leader assistant according to TO&E 04/550 (December 1942).  

https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/dms_mk1/42227490/452636/452636_original.png

"Зам. командиров отделений - наводчиков" - "Squad leader assistants - gunners".

"Мл. сержант" - "Junior sergeant"

Been looking at this document in particular, and it seems a bit strange.  The number of "squad leader assistants" is tied to the number of LMGs, not the number of squads.  The standard has Dec 42 org has 2 squads with 2x Зам. командиров отделений - наводчиков, but 2 squads with just 1.  It seems this designation is more directly tied to the LMG than squad leadership.

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A report that might have some bearing on this:

Quote

"To the commander of the 74th Rifle Corps

 
The use of the DP in modern battle
  1. In all types of combat, the DP light machinegun was and remains the main automatic weapon of the infantry squad.
    1. During penetration of enemy defenses, the crew, following in the squad formation, can quickly prepare for battle and conceal itself and then open massed fire against enemy strongholds that are preventing the squad from advancing.
    2. When blocking and liquidating bunkers and dugouts, the effective long range fire and rapid maneuver of the DP crew on the battlefield makes it the most effective weapon of an infantry squad.
    3. When reinforcing a captured line, as well as when deflecting enemy counterattacks, the DP crew can quickly prepare for battle and open sufficiently powerful fire, while heavy machineguns and other types of heavy infantry weapons are not available at the squad level.
    4. When pursuing the enemy, the DP crew is always prepared to open fire.
    5. In the defense, the sufficient range and the ability to stealthily change positions ensures the successful deflection of the enemy.
    6. When clearing enemy trenches during an offensive and during reconnaissance, the submachinegun is more effective.
  2. In all types of combat, the DP destroys targets listed on page 1 of the 1938 infantry field manual.
  3. Firing on armoured targets with the DP has not proven its worth in practice.
  4. As a rule, fire is opened in short bursts. The shooter does not fire more than 15-20 shots without changing positions or targets. Long bursts (more than 15-20 shots) are only fired when defending from enemy attacks and counterattacks. The fire is maintained until the machinegun jams.
  5. Replacement of barrels is not performed in practice until the machinegun stops firing.
  6. The most effective fire is at a range of 600 meters, when any individual and group targets can be hit. At a range of over 600 meters, one can only effectively fire at groups.
  7. On the offensive, it is impossible to find a place on the flanks for firing in a wide arc without being constrained by one's own soldiers. Usually, the light machinegun follows in formation and fires ahead to not impede the movement of its squad.
    The machinegun crew must pick a location with a wide arc of fire in order to be able to accompany its squad with fire for as long as possible.
  8. The mass of a light machinegun with a magazine is not enough of a weight on the shooter to cause him to fall behind the riflemen.
  9. The shooter should not be armed with a submachinegun, but a submachinegun is necessary for his ammunition carrier. Both need grenades and a knife.
  10. During an offensive and in the depth of enemy defenses, mutual support of the light machinegun and the riflemen is reflected in their cooperative fire.
  11. The light machinegun works flawlessly when correctly maintained. The magazine is poorly designed and jams, thus causing delays in light machinegun fire. The light machinegun is difficult to protect from dust, sand, etc. in offensive combat.
  12. The failures that are encountered most often are:
    1. Failure to feed.
    2. Delayed return of the moving parts forward.
    3. Failure of the moving parts to return forward completely.
      If the magazine is functional, failures are often corrected by simply cycling the bolt.
  13. The issue of external conditions affecting the trajectory of bullets has not been explored.
  14. Fire at airborne targets is performed without leading tables, since without an AA sight it is impossible to measure leading. An approximate aiming point is given by the commander when the command is given. To avoid pointless fire, the shooter only opens fire when the commander orders it.
  15. The light machinegun often remains unused if the shooter is disabled, as the other squad members are not taught how to use it. All squad personnel must know how to use the DP.
  16. In practice, gathering all light machineguns in one group under the platoon commander was not done, as there is no reason to do so, since the platoon commander will be distracted from his duties and would have to command the machinegunners.
    In rifle squads, the machinegun is necessary as a long range automatic weapon.
    I consider it necessary to design a submachinegun that uses a more powerful cartridge.
  17. The advantages of the MG-42 over the DP are: high rate of fire, reliability, metallic belt. Disadvantages: poor stability due to weak bipod, very heavy. In offensive battles, the MG-42 is given to infantry squads.
Conclusions:
  1. The DP machinegun is the main automatic weapon of the infantry squad. Its removal from the infantry squad is only possible in the event that a more effective type of long range automatic weapon is designed that has equal or greater firepower compared to the DP.
  2. It is necessary to replace the DP magazine with a metallic belt. The magazine is unwieldy and is vulnerable to dirt and malfunctions, which limit the rate of DP fire.
  3. Protect the moving parts of the modern DP from dust and dirt.
Personal questions:
  1. Experience of war shows that the current organization of infantry proved itself in combat. It is necessary to introduce an intermediate round for the submachinegun and replace the DP with a superior squad machinegun.
    A single light and heavy machinegun would be too heavy in practice to be light and unusable as a heavy.
    The infantry needs a bayonet, but its attachment should be like on the latest model of carbines.
  2. Practice shows that issuing body armour does not provide sufficient protection.
    A large part in the protection of infantrymen from small arms fire is played by shields on sleds. When penetrating fortifications in winter, the soldier moves the shield in front of himself and is protected. When assault groups used shields, only 15-20% were hit, as opposed to 80-85% without shields.
    Wounds when shields are used are light and most of them hit the lower parts of the body (legs).
  3. The long barrelled 45 mm gun and 76 mm guns proved themselves in battle. The 82 mm mod. 1942 mortar with one arbor should be removed, leaving the mod. 1937, or the mod. 1942 should be improved. Sights for mortars (square/angle) should be replaced with an optical device that allows for precise aiming.
    In battle, especially in deep defense, mortars are left without ammunition due to an absence of transport methods in companies, and thus cannot be used as a close range infantry weapon.
    It is necessary to provide aiming devices (periscopic azimuth compass) and communications measures.
  4. The qualitative and quantitative analysis of the losses dealt to the enemy by our artillery, mortars, and small arms fire is illustrated by the following examples:
    1. After each artillery barrage, while the division units are breaking through, there was not a single case where the attack stalled, as the artillery fire was effective.
      Note: during the penetration of enemy defenses at Zavolopka (near Radomyshl) enemy trenches were largely destroyed, his fire network paralyzed, communications disrupted, as a result of which the enemy's defenses were completely paralyzed.
    2. When fighting in depth and deflecting counterattacks in battle for Lenino homestead (near Radomyshl), the 1180th Rifle Regiment crossed the river, using it as cover from the attacking forces, captured the settlement, and was able to deflect six enemy counterattacks of up to a battalion of infantry and 12 tanks due to the timely transport of artillery across the river.
    3. When crossing the San river, the 45 mm gun battery of the 1176th Rifle Regiment managed to cross and deflect an attack by up to a company of enemy infantry from point blank range, capturing 16 prisoners, six cars, and one motorcycle.
    4. When crossing the Vistula river, the foothold could not be held without the timely transport of regimental and divisional artillery, as the enemy could have easily pushed the infantry back with tanks and APCs.
    5. When taking Sandomierz, the division's units already took heavy losses in infantry. The assault by two assault groups accompanied by two batteries from the 268th Independent Tank Destroyer Artillery Squadron was accompanied by effective support from divisional artillery batteries firing over open sights from an observation point outside the city
    6. Around Bela (west of Krestynopol), a retreating enemy infantry column with 30 carriages was spotted. The infantry of the 1176th Rifle Regiment was 3-4 km behind the enemy column and unable to catch up to them. Artillery from the 917th AA Regiment took initiative, placing machinegunners on cars, catching up to the infantry, and destroying up to 200 soldiers from point blank range of 600-800 meters captured 22 carriages with ammunition and supplies.
    7. Small arms fire in the offensive is disorganized and unaimed, and thus damage inflicted is slight. From temporary positions, the most effective fire is from light and heavy machineguns. In general, the most effective small arms fire is seen in close combat and defensive combat.
Commander of the 350th Zhitomir Order of the Red Banner, Order of Bogdan Khmelnitskiy Rifle Division, Guards Major General Vekhin
Division Chief of Staff, Guards Colonel Sychev
November 30th, 1944"

http://www.tankarchives.ca/2018/02/dp-in-combat.html

Edited by akd
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On 2/9/2020 at 6:49 PM, akd said:

Been looking at this document in particular, and it seems a bit strange.  The number of "squad leader assistants" is tied to the number of LMGs, not the number of squads.  The standard has Dec 42 org has 2 squads with 2x Зам. командиров отделений - наводчиков, but 2 squads with just 1.  It seems this designation is more directly tied to the LMG than squad leadership.

Well, 6 is written near to "junior sergeant". Number of LMGs is written bellow. Yes, 6 assistants for 4 squads. But in fact platoons rarely had 6 LMGs, 4 were good case. I think 6 is intentionally overstated number. So real platoons would have at least 3-4 LMGs.

To check this I tried to find some documents of rifle divisions, found this one. 208 rifle division, July of 1943.

502031_600.png

Number of NCOs in full strength rifle regiment is 679, privates - 1582. Privates to NCO ratio is 2.32 to 1. Real ratio is 1233:474 = 2.6, higher than TO&E.

 

 

 

 

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The many schemes for reduction complicate the discussion, but this is really about the "43" full strength org.  Even if it was not typical, I believe some units were brought up to strength before important operations.  See discussion on reduced schemes here:

 

Edited by akd
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3 minutes ago, akd said:

The many schemes for reduction complicate the discussion, but this is really about the "43" full strength org.  Even if it was not typical, I believe some units were brought up to strength before important operations.  See discussion on reduced schemes here:

Since 1944 rifle divisions were not reinforced to full strength, only to 6-7 thousands. It was somewhat semi-official TO&E. HQs made calculations to match personnel and weapons, that is one of them. 1-st row - full strength 04/550, 2-nd - 7000 division. 1-st line - rifles, 2-nd - SMGs, 3-rd - LMGs, 4-th - HMG e.t.c.

Note that LMG numbers are not proportional to personnel. Only 244,  3 in each platoon. (And 3 squads, I suppose)

438879_original.png

Problem is that HQ could cut battalion number, saving combat ready companies. So you can't be sure how big were platoons. Yes, in some divisional schemes are 3 squads, in others 4.

I think that 4 7-men squads with 4 LMGs is a close estimation for unit that was reinforced before major offence. I am not sure that 4 squads are better than 3, but it's easy to delete 4-th squad in the editor if player wants to get this variant. Or to set headcount 70%-80% to get 5-6 men squads. 

If squad headcount could be random, 6-7 men (and 3-4 LMGs), it would be excellent estimation. (For reinforced division before major offence)

I made some research for rifle divisions in defense (they are usually more depleted), they had even less LMGs, 2,18 LMG to 30 men in frontline: https://dms-mk1.livejournal.com/35408.html (See "р" row in the table for LMGs) 

 

 

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On 2/19/2020 at 12:39 AM, lsailer said:

How much does the Tac AI understand different forces?  Does it have built in rules for different ways different armies used their assets?

It treats all nationalities the same.  Units with better soft factors (leadership, experience, motivation, fatigue) will perform better than those with lower soft factors regardless of which flag they fought under.

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The actual low-level TacAI will work the same for all forces, but that's not actually a problem - that comes down to things like when to throw grenades, what cover to take, or what weapon to use against a tank.

The higher level stuff is scripted, so the real question is "How much do scenario designers understand different forces?"

Clearly that's going to vary, but the combined experience is generally good to great there.

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