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Why I like playing the underdogs (Commonwealth, Free French, etc.)


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As for QBs in general, I've always felt that the Germans have an edge because they have no real weaknesses. For any tactical need you may have the Germans have six units to choose from that will fill the role. They are not always the best units but they are rarely insufficient. The grenadier infantry are indeed highly reliant on the machine gun but the panzergrenadiers with two MG42s are deadly and the panzerschreck is better than a bazooka or a piat. Their higher-end tanks are modern-style main battle tanks that have strong armor and a gun that is good against both armor and infantry. Even the high-end Allied tanks are usually lacking in at least one of those areas until you get into 1945.

Admittedly, the game results at the Blitz don't show a strong tendency one way or the other.:

QB wins for Normandy at TheBlitz

Medium

  • Germans 251
  • Allies 274

Large

  • Germans 103
  • Allied 75

Huge

  • Germans 19
  • Allies 11

 

Edited by Vanir Ausf B
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One quality that makes some nations underdogs is actual troop quality.

In '43-'44 for example, if I choose 'good' or even 'excellent' for Commonwealth forces, and 'typical' for a German unit, the Germans will almost certainly have better experience and command - although not necessarily morale. This a good feature , of course, as it well represents the character of the forces.

And if you go up against the SS in good cover, it's just incredible how much resistance a small unit can put up.

And in armour it makes a huge difference, when your 76mm crews are Green, -1, and the enemy is Crack, +2.

I admit, I like creating a few 'hero' squads and teams, but I generally leave most units at their automatic settings. As much as anything, this gives a true feel for the historical contest.

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2 minutes ago, Bulletpoint said:

Haven't actually counted the number of rounds.

I have 😙 I don't remember the numbers, but if you count the rounds fired between reloads the difference between belt-fed and drum- fed is there even if it's not shown visually.

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4 hours ago, Vanir Ausf B said:

As for QBs in general, I've always felt that the Germans have an edge because they have no real weaknesses.

Not at the layer of fighting depicted by the game that's for sure, but as designed Germany's Infantry and Panzer Divisions were both a tad light on artillery support. The Panzer Divisions particularly lacked built in recovery assets and were reliant on Corp maintenance and recovery units loaned in from a GHQ, a rather glaring omission for an Army so short of vehicles all the time. Probably a big reason why so many Tiger tanks were stumbled over by Allied forces and written off with the usual story. "Abandoned and blown up by own crew". 

Early war the Landwehr lacked heavy mortars, the only ones available were for chemical troops and how many of them were around? Once German troops encountered Russian 120mm mortars this mistake was quickly rectified...

11 hours ago, Erwin said:

Also, my understanding re MG42 effectiveness is that while ammo consumption is an issue, it is still superior to the Bren since the Bren has an even bigger ammo problem - the mags contain only 20(?) bullets.  The MG42 can keep firing while the Bren has to reload.  Easier to have a five hundred rounds on 5 belts than 25 mags to reload.  The Bren is supposedly very accurate and the (Netflix) movie "Siege of Jadotville" has a significant plot point where it is used as a sniper weapon.  (So, that is definitive!)

They're designed from very different backgrounds, and the MG42 was a more recent variant of the MG34 designed to facilitate war production. (It was actually a simplified version of the MG34.) The Germans wanted one machine gun that could do every job be it heavy machine gun, squad-automatic-weapon, pintle mount, tank coax, etc. The original "General Purpose Machine Gun" and there were some issues with that sort of thing, namely that the weapon's standardization meant that the German Army lacked specialized machine guns like the DShK or Browning M2. Ammunition consumption was a problem, but it sounds like a bigger one was the need to keep and carry around fresh barrels which got worn out fast by the high rate of fire. Not a problem if you're going to use the weapon the way the Germans usually did ie: to rapidly punish enemy movement rather than what British or Russians or Americans usually had in mind ie: sustained heavy fire on a predicted or known position. 

Both guns (MG42/34) were belt fed, a notorious vector for stoppages and jamming from particle or debris ingestion in a machine gun. The Bren was magazine fed explicitly so this wouldn't be a major issue. In theory both the MG42 and Bren required assistant gunners for operation but the Bren was much simpler to operate without an assistant. I know the label "light machine gun" makes the Bren sound like a certain kind of weapon but it's a bit misleading. In fact the weapon was used more like an Automatic-Rifle-closer to the BAR and Madsen-although it could be mounted on a tripod and was a far better alternative to those two guns.  

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9 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Ammunition consumption was a problem, but it sounds like a bigger one was the need to keep and carry around fresh barrels which got worn out fast by the high rate of fire.

Id like to point something out that everyone seems to keep forgetting about high cyclic rate of fire. Its your maximum rate of fire not what you actually fire. Simply firing 3-5 round bursts with 2-3 second breaks in between lowers the strain on ammunition supply to no more than the watercooled mgs of the allies. But in situations where you need the higher rate of fire you can simply use longer bursts and shorter breaks.

For Barrel wear and heating actual rounds fired per minute is also the only relevant metric. As for changing the barrel you keep acting as if its a disadvantedge while its the opposite. Its not the cas that you have to change the barrel constantly or the gun will break but its to allow it to keep up with water cooled hmgs in sustained fire. Just to illustrate with the mg3 by the book you should change barrel after each 120 round belt. In practice exceeding that by an order of magnitude isnt uncommon when using it as a coaxial tank mg because its somewhat awkward to do. This leads to glowing barrels and the oil literally buring of the guns but simply change the barrel and youre practically back to no rounds fired. This does degrade the overall service life of the barrels but not to the point that it would matter on the ww2 timescale.

 

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23 hours ago, Erwin said:

Agreed the German equipment seems better and if you are creating your own QB's that can be an advantage.  In designed scenarios however, the Germans tend to be the underdogs since the Allies are generally given much more stuff.

Also, my understanding re MG42 effectiveness is that while ammo consumption is an issue, it is still superior to the Bren since the Bren has an even bigger ammo problem - the mags contain only 20(?) bullets.  The MG42 can keep firing while the Bren has to reload.  Easier to have a five hundred rounds on 5 belts than 25 mags to reload.  The Bren is supposedly very accurate and the (Netflix) movie "Siege of Jadotville" has a significant plot point where it is used as a sniper weapon.  (So, that is definitive!)

30 rounds minus 1. With 30 it was prone to jam and with 29 rounds it was more reliable. You guys compare apples and oranges the Bren was excellent on patrol and was very accurate. The MG 42 which role are you discussing here HMG or the squad weapon it was dual purpose. As an HMG the Vickers had its advantages as a squad weapon the Bren was at times a better choice. The strength of the MG 42 is the fact it was dual purpose but not ideal for either role. Omaha beach was taken because among other things they run out of spare barrels, water-cooled machineguns like the Vickers might have been better. Don't confuse the Bren with the BAR the BAR had 20 rounds in its magazine. 

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22 minutes ago, holoween said:

For Barrel wear and heating actual rounds fired per minute is also the only relevant metric. As for changing the barrel you keep acting as if its a disadvantedge while its the opposite. Its not the cas that you have to change the barrel constantly or the gun will break but its to allow it to keep up with water cooled hmgs in sustained fire. Just to illustrate with the mg3 by the book you should change barrel after each 120 round belt. In practice exceeding that by an order of magnitude isnt uncommon when using it as a coaxial tank mg because its somewhat awkward to do.

 

Coaxial machine guns are usually built with a thicker barrel than the infantry variants. Water cooled machine guns also usually have a thicker barrel than air cooled machine guns (which incidentally are still much larger than the barrel on an assault rifle). I don't really think barrel changing is a disadvantage per se, it's just another thing the gunner has to fiddle with in action other than everything else he's got to do. He needs an assistant and the assistant needs asbestos gloves by the way-which i'm sure get lost a lot. It's important to keep in mind that we're talking about rifle infantry's use of the MG42 per se though, the Weapons Company ie: the guys using it on a tripod, would have a whole crew who's job would be to service the weapon constantly. I imagine the MG42 was the least demanding "heavy" machine gun of all time but in return it seems that it wasn't quite heavy enough sometimes. The Vickers and M1917 were very stable platforms and very resistant to high operating temperatures of constant fire, but were also around 20lbs heavier (gun + water). 

 If you want a machine gun like the MG42 but don't want the hassle of water cooling it's certainly one way to have it. The other way is to just build it really heavy like the Hotchkiss or Browning M2 but then it won't make a good SAW will it? If you've got an assistant around barrel changing is a non-event and in fact the Bren had a quick change barrel too. Other issue is that the front sight post is part of the barrel. It's just that i've read more than a few accounts of green or inexperienced gunners burning out MG42s and 34s because when startled or panicked they tend to hold the trigger down and at such high cyclic rates the MG42 is very punishing on mistakes like that. The MG3 may suggest changes at 120 rounds, but with or without trigger discipline you'll get there very fast-hence as you say all the cases of overruns. Biggest issue though is the lighter barrel warps or "droops"-there is no condition where it won't-and this leads to "wandering" of the aim point over great distance. I suspect this is why the graduations in the telescopic sight for the weapon end at around 1,600m. 

It's not a major issue it's not really a design flaw, it's just the Bren is a bit less demanding on its user's trigger discipline although a limited-use 100 round pan mag existed for it. The big advantage of its 30 round mags was that the whole squad could easily carry a few and even refill them from loose rounds. Belts are seriously a big pain, and the containers the Germans issued for them seem to have been lost a lot. Once the British went to the FAL the Bren got a bit hard to justify-but unlike first generation assault rifles it was actually designed for sustained automatic fire. 

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People say that a British squad's firepower isn't that dissimilar to a German one.

All I'll say is that in one of my early experiences playing the Brits, a full 10-man squad found themselves in a building opposite three Germans across the road. With excess of a 3:1 advantage I thought they've got superior firepower and left them to it. Two minutes later the Brit squad had been wiped out and the Germans had taken a single casualty.

So I removed the Germans with a tank.

That's sort of how I find Brit scenarios go.

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3 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Coaxial machine guns are usually built with a thicker barrel than the infantry variants. Water cooled machine guns also usually have a thicker barrel than air cooled machine guns (which incidentally are still much larger than the barrel on an assault rifle).

At least for the mg3 that isnt the case. The barrel change mechanism simply doesnt allow thicker barrels. It also would contradict the idea of a general purpose mg.

Incidently watercooled mgs have much thinner barrels precisely because they have water to cool them.

3 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

I don't really think barrel changing is a disadvantage per se, it's just another thing the gunner has to fiddle with in action other than everything else he's got to do. He needs an assistant and the assistant needs asbestos gloves by the way-which i'm sure get lost a lot.

I havent seen anyone loose them so far and even if they did you can simply let the hot barrel dropp out or use a stick to draw it out.

3 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

 It's important to keep in mind that we're talking about rifle infantry's use of the MG42 per se though, the Weapons Company ie: the guys using it on a tripod, would have a whole crew who's job would be to service the weapon constantly. I imagine the MG42 was the least demanding "heavy" machine gun of all time but in return it seems that it wasn't quite heavy enough sometimes. The Vickers and M1917 were very stable platforms and very resistant to high operating temperatures of constant fire, but were also around 20lbs heavier (gun + water). 

You need 2 men to serve it in the HMG role mostly to be able to move it with the tripod. Everyone else is there to carry spare ammo, the tripod when marching and to give security to the mg. Heres a nice demonstration of the tactical use. Yes its an mg3 but aside from the caliber its the same gun and tripod.

3 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

 Other issue is that the front sight post is part of the barrel. It's just that i've read more than a few accounts of green or inexperienced gunners burning out MG42s and 34s because when startled or panicked they tend to hold the trigger down and at such high cyclic rates the MG42 is very punishing on mistakes like that.

The mg42 has its sights on the reciever not the barrel. The bren on the other hand does. And aside from a bit of ammo wasted it isnt a big deal to accidentially hold down the trigger a bit longer for the mg42.

3 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

The MG3 may suggest changes at 120 rounds, but with or without trigger discipline you'll get there very fast-hence as you say all the cases of overruns.

It suggests 120 rounds because the standard belt length was 120 rounds so the idea was to change barrel while changing belt. As said in actual practice that is never actually adhered to and barrel changes are fare rarer since the gun can easily deal with it.

3 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

Biggest issue though is the lighter barrel warps or "droops"-there is no condition where it won't-and this leads to "wandering" of the aim point over great distance. I suspect this is why the graduations in the telescopic sight for the weapon end at around 1,600m. 

First it doesnt exactly have a light barrel. Second if it did start to warp it would actually aim higher as it is supported at the front of the reciever aswell. Third the actual maximum range asssigned to it in the german army is 1200m. And fourth its a machinegun not a sniperrifle.

3 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

It's not a major issue it's not really a design flaw, it's just the Bren is a bit less demanding on its user's trigger discipline although a limited-use 100 round pan mag existed for it.

I dont see that. If you have bad trigger discipline youll imediately have to reload with the bren. with the mg42 you can imediately continue as you waare only with a few rounds wasted.

3 hours ago, SimpleSimon said:

The big advantage of its 30 round mags was that the whole squad could easily carry a few and even refill them from loose rounds. Belts are seriously a big pain, and the containers the Germans issued for them seem to have been lost a lot.

Ive personally never found belts to be a pain to carry. If you keep them the containers are just fine and if you dont you can simply sling the belts across your neck or put them into random bags and take them out when needed.

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2 hours ago, holoween said:

First it doesnt exactly have a light barrel. Second if it did start to warp it would actually aim higher as it is supported at the front of the reciever aswell. Third the actual maximum range asssigned to it in the german army is 1200m. And fourth its a machinegun not a sniperrifle.

If the aimpoint wanders it's not going to be a trivial event even if we're thinking in terms of spreads than point fire. As long as you're spotting your fire, it shouldn't matter much, but it's a thing that can happen is all i'm saying. 

Anyway, i'm not seriously trying to suggest that the Bren is a better weapon than the MG34/42, just that its merits are often downplayed a bit much for my taste because it doesn't fit a model or method of fighting it wasn't designed for. The Germans encouraged a bit more distinct squad-level tactics than the British did, fire-and-maneuver etc whereas the British rifle infantry preferred something closer to fire-and-advance, but they never named their design like Auftragstaktik or anything. German infantry squads didn't have light mortars though (they did at first but their early war model-the granatwerfer 36-was one of the worst examples of the type), and this is part of the reason why I think verges on misunderstanding to say "the Bren sucked" which i'm accusing no one of.

It's just that even looking at the Bren from MG42 Mountain paints a misleading picture. It leaves out that the British expected the Bren to work in tandem with a 2in mortar, sniper teams, engineers etc all under the cover of the battalion's mortars and HMGs.  This was all fully appreciated by the Germans too, but wielded differently because from that view the squad's machine gun is the main effort, everyone else supports it. The pyramid of support is inverted, it's bottom-up rather than top-down. That's why if you were to give the Wehrmacht the Bren they'd be inclined to look at it and go "oh we don't have much use for that". 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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27 minutes ago, SimpleSimon said:

It's just that even looking at the Bren from MG42 Mountain paints a misleading picture. It leaves out that the British expected the Bren to work in tandem with a 2in mortar, sniper teams, engineers etc all under the cover of the battalion's mortars and HMGs.  This was all fully appreciated by the Germans too, but wielded differently because from that view the squad's machine gun is the main effort, everyone else supports it. The pyramid of support is inverted, it's bottom-up rather than top-down. That's why if you were to give the Wehrmacht the Bren they'd be inclined to look at it and go "oh we don't have much use for that". 

Excellent write up @SimpleSimon. Each weapon is just a component in a system. While, philosophically, almost all WW2 armies were on the same page regarding concepts, they sometimes differed wildly in the approach to bring about abstract concepts like "fire and maneuver". Comparing weapons 1:1 is only meaningful if they are playing equivalent roles on those systems.

My contribution to this thread is that the CW armies favoured organisations in "fours" rather than "threes" or "twos". So a CW Bn packs actually 33% more "mass" than a German one. It is not uncommon to find that one CW Bn can carry an assault (where it is difficult to exploit high ROF weapons like the MG42) by sheer numbers, where I would need two German 44 Bns (or three VG). This heft, when augmented with AFVs and timely mortar/artillery support, can be devastating.

 

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On 12/31/2020 at 6:07 AM, Bulletpoint said:

The MG42 is not all that good. 

Are we playing the same game? The mg42 absolutely shreds in CM. Even far away it puts enough bullets downrange to suppress a whole platoon. 

Edited by Anonymous_Jonze
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1 hour ago, SimpleSimon said:

It's just that even looking at the Bren from MG42 Mountain paints a misleading picture. It leaves out that the British expected the Bren to work in tandem with a 2in mortar, sniper teams, engineers etc all under the cover of the battalion's mortars and HMGs.

Where is the difference in usage to an mg42?

That seems about as focused on the mg as the germans. A proper mg is simply a better weapon. Just like semiautomatic rifles completely obsoleted boltaction rifles as an infantry weapon and then the assaultrifle obsoleted it.

The only place where you still find lmgs is when they are basically just a standard assault rifle with a heavier barrel and a bigger magazine. While the bren was quite possibly the best lmg it simply became obsolete just like the watercooled hmg.

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On 12/31/2020 at 9:07 AM, Bulletpoint said:

The MG42 is not all that good. At least the way it's modelled in CM. The LMG can't really hit anything beyond 300m. While the LMG42 is the best LMG in the game, it's actually only slightly better than the Bren. I don't find it really means anything in a combined arms battle.

My experience is the opposite. The MG guy usually gets hit very fast, and then the rest of the squad is near useless, while the US squads keep most of their firepower.

 

I find the MG42 on the lafette mount absolutely beastly in CM2. Scenarios often have it sitting 400-500yds on some terrain feature and it can easily control the area  it overlooks. It it's behind bocage it can be surprisingly tricky to kill with 60mm M2 fire.

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2 hours ago, holoween said:

Where is the difference in usage to an mg42?

That seems about as focused on the mg as the germans. A proper mg is simply a better weapon. Just like semiautomatic rifles completely obsoleted boltaction rifles as an infantry weapon and then the assaultrifle obsoleted it.

The only place where you still find lmgs is when they are basically just a standard assault rifle with a heavier barrel and a bigger magazine. While the bren was quite possibly the best lmg it simply became obsolete just like the watercooled hmg.

It didn't become obsolete, it became inappropriate. Tbh I often hear the word 'obsolete' a lot and it never fails to give me pause. What does it mean? Since the Bren is obsolete what does that mean exactly? That it's not a threat? Couldn't be since it fires bullets and last I checked, modern guns still fire those. No the Bren's problem just as the problem of the generation of weapons that came before it was that the Armies it was built for reconfigured around light, mobile, and fast cadres of uniformly well-equipped and motorized task-force style military formations. The US Army typically refers to them as "Combat Teams" ie Regimental Combat Team, Brigade Combat Team, etc. Such formations have no use for positional fighting, preferring mobility and fast reaction to the "trench" fighting of the 20th century's wars. Those wars were fought by huge million man draftee Armies that don't exist anymore for good reason. (They were not terribly efficient and tended to lend themselves to excessive displays of aggression and brinksmanship on the part of the host' nation.) 

Small formations are easier to equip uniformly, the most important element of this the near universal-preponderance of motorization and mechanization by modern military forces. Nobody huffs it on foot anymore anywhere really, except for training events. Maneuverability used to be luxury but now battlefields are under such total surveillance that it means survival and this means that formations must be light. This has an observable affect on weapon systems at all levels of these formations from the prevalence of light armor now reflected by the IFV such Marder, Bradley, Warrior etc, and ICV such as Stryker, BTR, Dingo, MRAP, etc. Modern military forces at least in the west are literally the ultimate realization of Guderian's or Liddell Hart's designs, crucially enabled by the circumstances of today's world- a design which did not exist in their time. In these circumstances yeah, the MG42 is the best. It's such an optimal weapon for this kind of force configuration that just about every potential competitor available, the MAG, the Minimi, the M60, the PKM, all incorporate some degree of it in their design be it technical (air cooled, belt-feed, quick change barrel), or usage (the GPMG as a concept). This is where many of the frequent claims that various modern machine guns are all "copies" of the MG42 has a modicum of truth to it, but statements like that create more questions than they answer without some all important context. "Well yes, but no"

First generation assault rifles already numbered the Bren's days of course, (and never could've equipped those huge draftee Armies) but at least for a time what the Bren had on any assault rifle was that it could actually maintain sustained automatic fire while assault rifles couldn't do this without overheating. (The British designed their version of the FAL for this but it ended up being very heavy.) Design being the way it was assault rifles were expected to use automatic fire only for emergencies but otherwise operate more or less as the last generation of battle rifles just had. Shooting mainly at specific targets. Once the MAG and Minimi appeared of course the Bren was toast but for some reason the British decided they wanted to try making an assault rifle (the L86) try to play machine gun and it predictably failed because the SA80 it was based on is a rifle and lacks a quick change barrel and a host of other features that make it a good machine gun. It turns out regardless of design ya just can't beat physics, especially not thermodynamics. 

 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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17 minutes ago, SimpleSimon said:

It didn't become obsolete, it became inappropriate. Tbh I often hear the word 'obsolete' a lot and it never fails to give me pause. What does it mean?

Obsolete in the sense that using it gives you a significant disadvantedge.

 

For the rest of your post i really dont get your point tbh.

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Obsolete what an expression. Bolt action rifles ar not obsolete they still use them as sniper rifles. The Bren, Vickers, and MG 42 if you require a larger firing cone in the beaten zone the MG 42 is the better weapon. If you want a static defense nothing much wrong with the Vickers. CM doesn't allow you to use the water-cooled machine guns in the attack properly. You need to split up the team. The ammo bearers are not able to carry the tripod which needs to be put in position first. Followed by the team to carry the gun and the guys carrying the water jacket. On top of that in the game the Vickers can't fire indirectly for which it had a special sight. The Bren remained in service till at least the Falklands war. The Australian army often preferred it above the American M 60 in Vietnam. The Australian SLR couldn't fire officially in full auto mode the Bren complimented that weapon. CM also doesn't have claymores in the game, which makes ambush missions a non-event basically. Some weapons are just area denial weapons and the machine gun is one of them. If you use them to eliminate you just succeed to continue giving your position away. 

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46 minutes ago, holoween said:

Obsolete in the sense that using it gives you a significant disadvantedge.

Where? When? How? It's a machine gun. It's likely competition was to be bolt action rifles and pistols which the British expected would make up the grand majority of the enemy's small arms stocks as they had in the last war. They could not have foreseen it would be the MG34 when the Bren was selected for service in 1935 and the Bren wasn't going to be selected with what the Germans had in mind anyway. It was selected to replace the Lewis. Did it make a better machine gun than the MG42? Sadly no. It was another example of an Allied "good enough" weapon that equipped their Armies. Their victorious Armies. 

I actually think by the way that the MG42 was one of the war's best weapons all around, so much so that by itself it basically bought Germany 6 months of survival. It was made almost entirely of stampings so despite being introduced mid war it made up considerable ground and still managed around 420,000 copies in a war where only weapon systems that can be produced in such numbers would have any measurable effect. Availability was king in 20th century battlefields and the MG42 was seriously everywhere (to no lesser extent the MG34) and frequent enough to push those Tommy and Rusky Infantry companies to the ground so much in so many places that it led to what must've been many cancelled attacks and frustrating delays while artillery support had to be called up all the time. Gotta delete every tree berm in a 2000m radius just to get moving again. The effects of its legendary muzzle report require very little input from commentators...

I just read the other day that in spite of the MG42, MG34, MG13, enormous numbers of captured Czech, French, and Russian small arms the Germans still had to issue MG08s to Security and reserve units a lot. Obsolescence is truly a meaningless concept when "nothing" is the alternative it seems. Also I can't find production figures for the Bren for some reason but I would not be surprised if overall fewer Brens were built than MG42s. The Bren was specifically intended for the Army infantry so it wouldn't compete with Royal Air Force demands (who had the Vickers K and Browning), the Royal Navy (who had the Vickers. 50 cal) the Royal Armored Corp (who had the BESA) and well, the Army itself who still had over a million Vickers HMGs from the Great War. The Lewis still appeared every now and then, especially when the 30,000 Brens issued to the BEF were all lost during the evacuation. I suspect many ended up equipping Dominion troops but the Bren's production must've been quite high because despite losses from early war setbacks the weapons could still be seen in the hands of Dominion troops in the Pacific.

Now the STEN? Yeah that one's hard to apologize for. Did bag Reinhard Heydrich tho...

 

 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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1 hour ago, SimpleSimon said:

Where? When? How?

In Europe, by gpmgs/mmgs and assaultrifles, starting in the mid 30s and certainly being the case by the mid 40s. For what is essentially a mid 20s design thats very good.

And i dont think the brits were making a bad decision when getting the bren since they were getting what was the best lmg in the world. That they ended up against one of the best gpmg designs was bad luck they couldnt have forseen.

Also note that obsolete isnt useless.

Bolt action rifles became obsolete in the mid 30s They still ended up being the most prominent weapons in ww2 due to several factors and they still worked but they got destroyed when up against selfloading rifles.

 

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Another force I love is the Free French.

I was disappointed the Chasseurs regiments were removed with the recent patch, but the Spahis are a really interesting force to play. They use all American equipment, but it's a real education in how different organisation can completely change a unit.

They're extremely light and somewhat undergunned (it's forced to me practice area fire with .20 cal armed Scout Cars when fighting light armour), but they're a mobile, interesting unit. Their infantry are WWI vintage - all bolt-action rifles and a scarcity of automatic weapons.

It's amazing that they performed such feats in the Italian campaign - it's just a shame that the face graphics don't reflect the North African origin of many of the troops.

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Personally i'm holding out for the appearance of Hungarian and Romanian troops in one of the CM games one day but I doubt i'll see em. The Hungarians especially had a large assortment of domestically manufactured armored vehicles, (the Toldi, Turan, Zrnyi etc) while both of them have large stocks of those old Skoda and German World War 1 field artillery tubes still around that I want to try out. It'd be especially cool if more of the guns would start appear as on-map assets too but *shrug*. 

I kind of want people to get a better sense of how "the infantry" usually fought, but most of the CM games seem oriented around Panzerkrieg stuff. Rolling armored thrusts up the main axis of advance etc. Exciting stuff, but not what most guys were doing lol. Fortress Italy's American campaigns were a good example of what i'm talking about ie: the infantry-artillery slugout...

Infantry who appear under-gunned were usually expected to operate with substantial support-hence why so many Armies were marching around with bolt action rifles. It's just that only the Americans and British could usually make that support materialize while the Russians could take advantage of their "light" troops to whip around the mostly permeable Eastern Front to just appear behind the enemy. That's the other environment where light infantry get along well, where no frontline exists...

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