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U.S. Thread - CM Cold War - BETA AAR - Battle of Dolbach Heights 1980


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METT-T Analysis

TROOPS

“We are an Army historically unprepared for its first battle.  We are accustomed to victory wrought with the weight of materiel and population brought to bear after the onset of hostilities.  Today the U.S. Army must above all else, prepare to win the first battle of the next war.”

FM 100-5 (1976 – Introduction to the Active Defense Doctrine)

 

 Troops:  My advantage over the Soviet force will probably be in available support.  His BMPs and tanks will probably out class my M113s, M60A1s, and M150s so I will depend heavily on my attached support assets to even the playing field.

TROOPS_01.png

My force for this action is task organized as follows (start formations are in blue text). 

Armored Cavalry Troop

  • Troop HQ – Five minutes out
    • HQ Team on M113A1
    • FO Team on M113A1
  • 1st Platoon – Initial Formation on the map
    • HQ Team on M113A2
    • x2 Scout Teams on M113A2 – note, these teams have the ability to Call Artillery
    • x2 Tank Hunters (M-150 TOW)
    • x4 M60A1 (Rise+)
  • 2nd Platoon – Five minutes out
    • HQ Team on M113A1
    • x2 Scout Teams on M113A1 – note, these teams have the ability to Call Artillery
    • x2 Tank Hunters (M-150 TOW)
    • x4 M60A1
  • 3rd Platoon – Ten minutes out
    • HQ Team on M113A1
    • x2 Scout Teams on M113A1 – note, these teams have the ability to Call Artillery
    • x2 Tank Hunters (M-150 TOW)
    • x4 M60A1 (Rise)
  • Mortar Section – Five minutes out
    • HQ Team on M577
    • x3 M106A1 Mortar Carriers
  • Support (Attachments):
    • x2 Battery (x6 M114A1 guns each) – available at start
    • x1 Battery (x6 M114A1 guns) CLUSTER MUNITIONS – Available in five minutes
    • x2 AH-1F Cobra Attack Helicopters – Available in ten minutes

CMCW Feature:  New to Cold War, CLUSTER MUNITIONS!!  For both artillery and aircraft (if available historically).  Wait until you see these in action.

TROOPS_02.png

METT-T Analysis

TIME

Time:  There are 40 minutes available in this action.

Reinforcement Schedule:

  • On map: 1 Armored Cavalry Platoon with x2 Heavy Artillery Batteries
  • Five Minutes:  AC Troop HQ, x1 Armored Cav Platoon, plus x1 Battery with Cluster munitions
  • Ten Minutes:  x1 Armored Cav Platoon, plus x2 AH-1F Attack Helicopters

Bil

Edited by Bil Hardenberger
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1 hour ago, sburke said:

ooooh yeah.  This is a majorly significant item.  For the US not having it is a severe handicap.

Oh the other hand, having US units WITH thermal sights when the bad guys don't in heavy mist/fog.....  satisfying payback from some of the other waxings 🙂

 

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  • Bil Hardenberger changed the title to U.S. Thread - CM Cold War - BETA AAR - Battle of Dolbach Heights 1980
2 minutes ago, Hapless said:

No smoke launchers on the M-150?

That could make the ATGM getaway phase tricky...

Shoot and scoot? If you hull down the M-150 it's such a small target (The actually firing platform sits pretty high) that it should be fairly simple to escape (in theory).

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12 minutes ago, Hapless said:

No smoke launchers on the M-150?

That could make the ATGM getaway phase tricky...

 

8 minutes ago, Rice said:

Shoot and scoot? If you hull down the M-150 it's such a small target (The actually firing platform sits pretty high) that it should be fairly simple to escape (in theory).

 

5 minutes ago, Erwin said:

Unless the issue was fixed in the new game, ATGM vehicles are very vulnerable and hard to use as the game does not calculate that only the missile launchers are above ground (hull-down) - but the entire vehicle is hull-down as if it were any tank.

It's kind of a preview of what's to come.. but did someone say, Hull-Down M150?  This is taken from Warren's side and is REALLY zoomed in.

Hull_Down_M150.png

Bil

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Just now, Bil Hardenberger said:

 

 

It's kind of a preview of what's to come.. but did someone say, Hull-Down M150?  This is taken from Warren's side and is REALLY zoomed in.

Hull_Down_M150.png

Bil

I would definitely not want to see that facing my troops haha

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1 hour ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

...did someone say, Hull-Down M150?  This is taken from Warren's side and is REALLY zoomed in.

That is terrific if the new engine features proper LOS for missile launchers for ATGM vehicles.  Up to now they have been almost impossible to use as they were intended.  :)

 

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Just now, Erwin said:

That is terrific if the new engine features proper LOS for missile launchers for ATGM vehicles.  Up to now they have been almost impossible to use as they were intended.  :)

 

Just a quick word.. this isn't a normal missile launcher.  It is ad-hoc.. a TOW launcher mounted on top of an M113 and is fired from the unbuttoned position, so there is a little soldier head somewhere in those pixels.  Still.. this is one of my favorite vehicles in the game.

Bil

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Just now, Bil Hardenberger said:

Just a quick word.. this isn't a normal missile launcher.  It is ad-hoc.. a TOW launcher mounted on top of an M113 and is fired from the unbuttoned position, so there is a little soldier head somewhere in those pixels.  Still.. this is one of my favorite vehicles in the game.

Bil

Through your testing have you found it particularly effective compared to other mobile ATGM platforms? How does it compare to the performance of the M901?

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6 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Just a quick word.. this isn't a normal missile launcher.  It is ad-hoc.. a TOW launcher mounted on top of an M113 and is fired from the unbuttoned position, so there is a little soldier head somewhere in those pixels.  Still.. this is one of my favorite vehicles in the game.

Bil

Will the missile launchers be harder to spot and hit than they are currently - ie will telescoping missile launchers be depicted accurately?  Currently, they are depicted as if the top of the vehicle itself is visible (as if it was a tank) and thus is much easier to spot and kill than in RL.  

Am, hoping that the new engine will also make ATGM vehicles in CMSF and CMBS much more usable.

Edited by Erwin
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10 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

Just a quick word.. this isn't a normal missile launcher.  It is ad-hoc.. a TOW launcher mounted on top of an M113 and is fired from the unbuttoned position, so there is a little soldier head somewhere in those pixels.  Still.. this is one of my favorite vehicles in the game.

Bil

I think the 'Hull Down' position needs to be modified. Russian BMP's T55 MBT's also have ATGM systems mounted on their turret, German Marder also with TOW or Milan. All these vehicles need to go hull down by plotting a target with the weapon they are not using. In WW2, the .50 call on the Sherman and the Halftrack. Kind regards

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4 hours ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

CMCW Feature:  New to Cold War, CLUSTER MUNITIONS!!  For both artillery and aircraft (if available historically).  Wait until you see these in action.

That is going to be the only way out of this type of scrap. I've got a feeling it's 'lose your FO; lose the fight' in the pre Abrams/Bradley scenarios.

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Tentative Plan

Battle Planning:  My philosophy is to never develop a final plan until I have an estimate of the enemy situation. 

 

“The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That's the time to listen to every fear you can imagine!  When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead!”

George S. Patton

 

In the above quote, Patton is describing the OODA Loop, though of course John Boyd’s description and breakdown of his now famous loop was still decades away.

OODA Loop (Observe-Orient, Decide-Act) - In the OODA loop the Observe-Orient components never stop, from the battle kickoff to the end. They are always running, and all enemy interactions and sightings feed Observe-Orient which add to the picture a commander has of his battle space making their decisions easier, faster, and more intuitive. 

If you can beat your opponent to “understanding the situation” then your OODA Loop will cycle at a much higher pace than theirs and your decisions will be more effective and they will be at least one step behind, which is a bad place to be in a fast paced combat zone.

Tentative_01.png

For this battle, I need to get eyes on NAI 1, 2, and 3 as quickly as possible so this initial formation (1st Platoon) will act as my reconnaissance force.  

Once I have an idea as to how the enemy is deploying I can then Decide how to Act.  Once a decision has been made there must be no hesitation, act aggressively and with confidence in the decision.

EAA_Analysis.png  

NAIs.png

 

I can make some assumptions: 

  • Assumption 1:  The enemy will attempt to seize the village.  This is a sure bet, as it is the main objective for this scenario, for both sides.
  • Assumption 2:  The enemy will advance down EAA1 towards the village.  Another safe assumption due to the masked movement corridor this avenue presents.
  • Assumption 3:  The enemy will build a SBF position close to either NAI2 or NAI3, or both.  Reasoning is that both of these positions can provide excellent flank support to the main effort, probably moving through EAA1.

 

Tentative_Scouts.png

Reconnaissance Plan:  In order to get eyes on the enemy I need to close the distance as soon as possible. 

  • Scouts:  My main recon force will be the three M113s, Scout teams and the Platoon HQ team. Which will rush toward Dolbach, dismount prior to entering, and creep forward as far as possible.  These are not expendable units, I want them alive and capable to help in a later phase.

 CMCW Feature:  New to Cold War, US Scout teams all have the ability to call for fire.

 

Tentative_M150s.png

  • Overwatch: The two M-150 TOW vehicles will provide long range overwatch from the ridge.  Their visibility from up there is suspect and I am pessimistic as to the level of fire they will be able to place on the enemy.

 

Tentative_Tanks.png

  • Overwatch/Support by Fire: Split into two, two-tank teams the M-60A1(Rise+) tanks will be on the extreme right flank providing Support by Fire and Overwatch for the M113s.  Their goal will be to shadow the M113s and to interdict any enemy vehicles they can.

 

Tentative_Obscure.png

  • Obscuration:  My two Howitzer batteries will be laying down a quick smoke screen in front of the enemy in order to, hopefully, decrease his ability to engage any of my moving units.  Also this is meant to increase the difficulty of the enemy spotting and any shots the Soviets may attempt.

 

Intent:  The intent and goal for this initial phase is to answer as many of the PIRs as possible prior to the initial reinforcement wave (5 minutes).  They are not to get decisively engaged or do anything stupid that will force them to suffer casualties.  Force preservation is key, especially for the tanks and the M-150s.

Bil

Edited by Bil Hardenberger
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The British L7 105 mm (NATO gun) shooting APDS penetrated any Soviet tank over a mile. A shame I won't see the Centurion for some time. Earlier Cold WAR could also be interesting example the 1956 Hungarian uprising. JS III vs 90 mm Pattons. M40 106 mm recoilless rifles for the infantry mounted on the Jeep. (It was called 106mm not to confuse with other 105 mm munitions.)

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While mostly true in the abstract, I think a lot of players will be surprised in the ways Soviet tech can prove superior to western equivalents just as the cases where Western forces will make a viable play with superior numbers rather than technical sophistication. Rarely will cases line up that ideally fit every stereotype that 40 years of badly written fiction implied...

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Indeed, such a statement flies in the face of the facts about why the Rheinmetall 120mm gun was developed...

The L7 could defeat many Soviet tanks, but western leaders seem to have been fixated on first-round kills and such and any Soviet tank a western tank had to engage in a protracted struggle with shifted the balance back towards the Soviet-side. Given that any scenario for fighting in the Fulda Gap granted the Soviets the favor of numbers not being able to guarantee that all-important first-hit kill was a slide toward doom. It would enable Soviet tankers that much more time to simply overwhelm NATO defenses.

This is a big reason why tank design in the west increasingly shifted toward multiple-simultaneous engagement parameters-although the fruits of those efforts wouldn't be born out fully until after the Cold War. Then we could all sit around engaging in the endless circular arguments of performance of xyz amount of armor vs abc gun and round but...that'll be too boring for me lol. 

Edited by SimpleSimon
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53 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Fairly confident that a T-64A's frontal array would stop that round dead.

Yes double the armor 12 inches T-64 (Account for the sloping armor) vs 8 inches penetration. The L7 105 mm was a fine gun. The ATGM was its undoing and The T62 was the most u to date Russian tank in the Middle East. The Tungsten which was the penetrator doesn't grow on trees. I don't know of any conflicts between the T64A and the Centurion. 

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There were no conflicts where T-64A faced the L7 gun, period (unless there's been some sort of odd occurence in the Ukraine, which one can never entirely rule out).

But as @SimpleSimon says, the T-64 is one of the main reasons why NATO started looking at bigger guns.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead
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19 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

That being said, the T-64A would then proceed to deafen all the local wildlife before spitting off a track and burying itself up to it's puny undersized torsion bars.  :rolleyes:

It seems that the Soviets always made a certain amount of provision for losses due to mechanical failure/mobility problems, their thinking was still very 1945ish in the sense that you could make up for a certain amount of operational losses by just having heaps of spares everywhere. They weren't tested this time, but Red Army motor pools and maintenance depots proved absurdly good at keeping vehicles in service and minimizing downtime for mechanical issues in 1944. The T-34 was a pretty simple tank to be sure, mass-production "box tank" etc. It sure helped that the Soviets were still swearing off anything heavier than 40 tons and the T-64 wasn't much heavier than the generation of AFVs that came before it. Some returns were also had in the form of the deep fording-capability being standardized too, although certainly some horrifying new ways to suffer vehicle and crew losses could emerge from that...

 

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1. The Soviets designed the armour package of the early T-64/T-72 with the goal of defeating 105mm APDS/HEAT

2. The Soviet tested their tanks' armour (in 1982 at Kubinka) against 105mm APFSDS ammunition (Israeli M111 rounds and, allegedly, US M735 ones) prompting them to redesign the glacis of the T-72A (and other similarly protected tanks) that was found to be vulnerable to the Israeli APFSDS (turret armour was impregnable).

I think that this is enough evidence to say that 105mm APDS rounds would have been ineffective against the frontal protection of any Soviet tank of the T-64/72/80 series, barring lucky hits on weakened zones (e.g. around the mantlet or the driver hatch).

Edited by Amedeo
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The size of the gun is much less important than the ammo the gun is firing. M774 APFSDS was a very capable round for the US in 1980, and its upgraded brother M833 (outside the scope of the game as it is from 83) is even better. 
 

Soviet tanks (T-64/72/80) are very well armored and hard to kill, especially at range. But they are not invulnerable beasts, and the 105mm (again depending on the ammo used) is not hopelessly outclassed. 

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