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Rolling Barrage


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I'm trying to figure out how to create a rolling barrage.  I know if you have enough tubes and spotters, you can kinda make something up for turn one up but it is still not the kind that infantry or armor can follow behind. And to merely change the aim point does't  work as the new point is usually obscured by the previous rounds dust/smoke cloud plus there would be a lag time before the new rounds would be on the way.  

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Also, the typical "rolling barrage" is something that would normally happen outside of the remit of CM battles, i.e. before, or between them.

Although I agree with Freyberg you can try to create your own with TRPs.

Also, some designers do include pre-planned arty missions, but it is quite rare. And I tend to have my troops keep their heads downs, just in case.

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7 hours ago, markshot said:

I have noticed that you get sort of a lateral rolling barrage with a single tube and a linear fire mission.  It tends to start at one end and walk across.  Of course, if you knew the timing, and which end was which, you sort of have a rolling barrage.

You might also find that sometimes it goes back the other way during longer missions.

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On 10/12/2019 at 6:55 PM, markshot said:

I have noticed that you get sort of a lateral rolling barrage with a single tube and a linear fire mission.  It tends to start at one end and walk across.  Of course, if you knew the timing, and which end was which, you sort of have a rolling barrage.

You must have gotten lucky, because every linear barrage I plot falls randomly along the entire line, no matter how many tubes I use.

The best rolling barrage I've made is using sequential pre-planned linear barrages, spaced a couple hundred meters apart, and set to start immediately, followed by the standard delays at five, ten, and fifteen minutes.
You can cover quite a bit of area, and having the five minute timing allows you five minutes to move into each beaten zone and clear it before the next zone ceases fire.

It's not a literal "walking barrage" like you would have in WW1, but honestly, trying something like that in WW2 is just plain stupid.

One survivor with an LMG can ruin your whole plan. In WW1 walking barrages were accompanied by specific targeted barrages on identified enemy strongpoints and machinegun positions that had been identified with recon efforts up to many months before the battle even began, and even so, many attempts at attacks like these broke down in the face of even scattered resistance surviving the barrage until you had tanks accompanying the infantry.

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5 hours ago, General Jack Ripper said:

It's not a literal "walking barrage" like you would have in WW1, but honestly, trying something like that in WW2 is just plain stupid.

One survivor with an LMG can ruin your whole plan. In WW1 walking barrages were accompanied by specific targeted barrages on identified enemy strongpoints and machinegun positions that had been identified with recon efforts up to many months before the battle even began, and even so, many attempts at attacks like these broke down in the face of even scattered resistance surviving the barrage until you had tanks accompanying the infantry.

Very true. And even with tanks you had to hope that they didn't sink into a muddy shell crater.

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On 10/15/2019 at 2:11 AM, General Jack Ripper said:

trying something like that in WW2 is just plain stupid.

Yeah ... nah.

Rolling barrages worked like a treat, as long as the gunners and divisional staff knew their business. Recon was vital, as it was in WWI, as well as retaining a degree of flexibility in execution, which was realised by having batterys 'superimposed' on the firing lines. That way, if a target of opportunity arose then the superimposed battery could be lifted off the barrage and given an immediate neutralisation target on the MG position ... or whatever the holdup was that just appeared. Obviously(?) good comms between the forward observers and the gun line was also crucial.

Incidentally, a rolling barrage was really resource intensive, and it wasn't really rolling. Imagine three batterys, each firing their own linear 100m long, with 100m between each line. They would all start together, then after a certain amount of time - as the friendly infantry approach the nearest line of fire - the battery ceases fire on the first line and starts again on a new fourth line 100m beyond the third line. The guns keep banging away for another 20 mins which gives the infantry time to close up on the next line, then the second battery ceases fire and switches to another linear 100m beyond the fourth line. And so on. If you want more width then add more batterys to the left and right on each line (each battery can cover about a linear about 100m long). If the enemy position is particularly strong - or if the position hasn't been recce'd very well - then add more lines in depth so that each line gets beaten up for longer. If the infantry are able to advance quickly then shorten the interval before shifting to the next line, and vice versa if the infantry are unable to move quickly then lengthen the time that the guns dwell on each line.

Examples of use in WWII are legion - Alamein is the obvious first example (although there was at least one in France in 1940, IIRC), including several by the Aussies during their 'crumbling' operation on the northern flank. There were more at Tebaga Gap, Enfidaville, Cassino, and points further north. They were also fairly common in Normandy, and Op VERITABLE opened with a famously huge one. On 11th July 1944 2nd US Infantry Div used a rolling barrage to (successfully) take Hill 192^. In fact, the break in of all of those examples were successful. Coincidence? No, not really.

 

^ LtCol Donald C. Little "Artillery support in the capture of Hill 192" Military Review vol. XXVIII No.3 March 1948 pp. 31-37 reproduced here

See also Bailey, Field artillery and firepower, multiple pages but especially p.204-206

Edited by JonS
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