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


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The key of issue is sort of the reflected by the depressing tone of thinking that went into design while the US was putting the M60A1 in service. ("We know it's a stop gap etc") IE: That there was no real solution as of yet to a Soviet Tank Army crashing through the Fulda Gap and that the best NATO tank forces could hope to achieve was likely to be a 1:1 parity or maybe 1.5:1 parity in kills to losses under favorable conditions. Unacceptable given the scale of the challenge. Desperation followed in the form of duct taped ATGMs on the back of M113s-literally the resurrection of the Marder and Jagdpanzer-and also the more promising stuff like the A10 and Apache but were still in limited availability...

Edited by SimpleSimon
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3 hours ago, Holien said:

Gents I am really interested in understanding the disparity between the forces but perhaps a thread of it's own? Just my 2p YMMV..

🙂

The tank armor vs gun ping pong can be a bit boring after the first two rounds, but a very interesting question follows: how are supposed the US forces to be used in the battlefield? The composition of Bill's force looks a bit like a frittata. 

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Not much differently from 1945 either Bletchley. Apply firepower, then a little more, and once the heavy guns are dry, send some bullets. Then send men, but not prior to flattening the grid square. If you're using an Armored Division troop, apply all of the above, but send a tank between the bullets and then the man step. Tactically the US Army looked pretty good, and was second only to the Red Army in being subject to the least of post-war cuts and expenditure reductions-which were still quite substantial nonetheless. US Army Divisions had all of their artillery batteries augmented from 4 guns to 6 after the war, however some of the expansions in US heavy firepower were offset by Soviet improvements in their own artillery parks. So unlike the Wehrmacht US Infantry would be facing much more serious threats from counter-battery and preparatory fire this time around. The BM-21 is not a terribly sophisticated piece of equipment but God, they sure got a hell ofa lot of em! 

Much like the Wehrmacht, it seems that much American thinking was now oriented toward strong-point style defense which would hopefully nullify much of the consequence of the heavier fire by simply not presenting any target. Then of course the Armored Divisions would have many built in advantages against that but much like the conundrum facing the Panzer Divisions in 1944- how many of those do you have? You've got 7th Army. Group Soviet Forces Germany alone is seven Armies. 

What's the promise of defeating the Red Assault with strings of infantry in blocking positions and counter-attacks by Armored Divisions to plug gaps? If 1945 is any hint, it's not good-but there's room for frustrating time-tables and slowing down the enemy's advance. This was a big element of the REFORGER exercises after all ie: hold on until the cavalry arrives. In this frame there's quite a room for Combat Commands/Brigade Combat Teams to work around inside of. If Bill's force looks like the buffet table at the Shoney's that's because his force is a post ROAD (Reorganization of Army Divisions) command. IE: It's all Brigade Combat Teams, not Regiments. So the structure is closer to 2007, but the execution will still look more like 1945. 

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First Three Minutes!

 Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things.

A Book of Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi

 

The initial phase of this action will be me positioning my units to get eyes on the most likely enemy avenues of approach, especially EAA1 (NAI 1). 

After two minutes of action:

  • M113A2s and Scouts: Reached their drop off points and the two Scout teams have dismounted and are continuing on foot in order to get into positions where they can look into EAA1.  The Platoon Leader will stay mounted in his M113 for now.

M113s_T01b.gif

01-B.png

  • M-60A1 (Rise+) Section 1:  Arrived in hull down positions with views of NAI 2 and 3.
  • M-60A1 (Rise+) Section 2:  Arrived in hull down positions with views of NAI 2 and 3.

Tank Section 1 moves into position:

M60s_T01.gif

01-C.png

  • M150 TOW Tank Hunters:  Both now in hull down positions overlooking NAIs 2 and 3.

01-A.png

  • Artillery Smoke Screen:  After two minutes I have cancelled the fire from both batteries.  Mainly because I want them available once my Scouts start to see into NAI 1.  The screen should build for a few more turns as laid then should last for several more.  It’ll be interesting to see how effective it is at messing with the Soviet spotting-targeting cycle.

01-E.png

FIRST ENEMY INDICATOR:  In the third minute M150 1/5 (1st Platoon, 5th Vehicle)) noticed some movement in the woods between NAIs 1 and 2.  Nothing is known about this contact other than that it is a light armored vehicle, suspected BMP from the Recon Company.

01-D.png

Now to place this image in context... in case you ever wondered what a Hull Down M-150 Tank Hunter looks like from the Soviet perspective:

Hull_Down_M150.png

Bil

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8 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

A Book of Five Rings, Miyamoto Musashi

Firmly ensconced onto my, "I desperately need to read this at some point in my life," list.

 

10 minutes ago, Bil Hardenberger said:

M60s_T01.gif

01-C.png

Kelly Johnson had a saying that went something like, "If it doesn't look right, it won't fly right."

Well, the M60 just looks right.

Here's hoping they fly right too.

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No M774 APFSDS in this battle (unless They've secretly snuck an M60A3 into the mix somewhere). The M150 would be firing baseline TOW missile, which is not guaranteed to penetrate a T64/T72/T80 frontally (though it often does). ITOW shows up with Bradley and M901.

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12 minutes ago, MikeyD said:

No M774 APFSDS in this battle (unless They've secretly snuck an M60A3 into the mix somewhere). The M150 would be firing baseline TOW missile, which is not guaranteed to penetrate a T64/T72/T80 frontally (though it often does). ITOW shows up with Bradley and M901.

Blimey.....Bil's going to have to be very, very careful!  :ph34r:

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Fourth Minute - First Contact!

Forgive me for a second AAR post today, but I will be traveling tomorrow and wanted to get this one published tonight.

 

“One should not be diverted by geographical objectives, but should concentrate on the destruction of the enemy’s military forces.”

Classic Russian Military Principles

 

A little excitement during this turn, and first shot fired (all times are in Game Time, counting down from 40:00).  Yellow text for contacts equals a tentative contact, red text is for solid identified contacts. 

  • @36:47:  Early in this minute M150 (1/5) got a firm spot on an enemy BMP moving to the edge of the woods, then immediately lost the contact as it continued forward slightly.  Positive ID: BMP-1P. 
  • Note:  this is a resolution of the tentative spot from the third minute.

T04-B1.png

  • @36:35:  M150 (1/4) noticed some movement near NAI3.  Appears to be a light armored vehicle, suspected to be a BMP.

T04-B2.png

  • @36:21:  The 36:35 spot becomes a positively identified BMP-1P as it nosed slightly out of the treeline.   This BMP is oriented directly toward M-150(1/4) but does not have a spot, it could be overwatching the ridge the Tank Hunter is sitting on.

T04-B3.png

T04-C.png

Note the type of ATGM (AT-4 I believe) and the mast antenna.  The ATGM makes it a BMP-1P, the mast antenna makes this a BMP-1PK, a Company Commander's personal ride.  One Company HQ identified... make a note.

As the BMP halted at the edge of the treeline it gave M-150 (1/4) enough time to aim and loose a TOW, which alas, fell well short of the mark probably due to my smoke screen.  The contact was then immediately lost, probably due to the smoke, missile destruction debris etc.

T04.gif

With any luck, the enemy commander will have missed the missile launch and will think the missile’s impact with the ground is a spotting round.

T04-A.png

  • @36:04:  M150 (1/4) noticed some movement within NAI2.  Appears to be a light armored vehicle, suspected to be a third BMP.  One full Company or parts of two?  Time will tell.  

T04-B4.png

Only one adjustment was made to my positions this turn.  After a quick check, M-150 (1/4) is only Partially Hull Down to the BMP it fired at this turn so will be reversing into a full Hull Down position to this enemy vehicle, and will also be narrowing its cover arc to focus on the location of this enemy BMP.

A note about Hull Down… just because you are Hull Down to one piece of ground, does not mean you are Hull Down to another.  You should check and recheck this as a scenario unfolds, especially when you have firm contact sightings.

T04-D.png

Bil

COMING UP NEXT:  The Return of the Famous Blood Board!!

Edited by Bil Hardenberger
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In case anyone's wondering (which nobody probably is), the odd stowage racks on the M150 hull top are a stowed Kevlar tent that was designed to partially shield the TOW crew from artillery splinters. When erected it looks like the worst idea in the world so we kept i folded.

 

 

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untitledmm.png

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On 2/18/2021 at 7:45 AM, 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

We should have one step further down for the "Hull Down" and that's "AFV" just down. It would permit vehicles using some of their ordnance from a concealed position. A fine demonstration of the new Beta game if I may say so. 

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34 minutes ago, chuckdyke said:

We should have one step further down for the "Hull Down" and that's "AFV" just down.

"Turret down" is used to mean just the sighting systems/crew are exposed above the terrain, "hull down" should be appropriate for the M113 with TOW - the TOW counting as the turret.  Turret down is not a command, however I think the effects of turret down are more present than some may be aware: I have been able to use the BFIST to call in artillery while turret down and turned in, though not under experimental conditions.

RE the "tent".  Another example of safety equipment (which may well have worked to some extent) going unused because it doesn't look cool enoough.  The giant bike helmet effect.  Or seat-belt effect perhaps.  On the other hand it looks like it may have increased it's silhouette.

Edited by fireship4
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14 minutes ago, fireship4 said:

"Turret down" is used to mean just the sighting systems/crew are exposed above the terrain, "hull down" should be appropriate for the M113 with TOW - the tow counting as the turret.  Turret down is not a command, however I think the effects of turret down are more present than some may be aware: I have been able to use the BFIST to call in artillery while turret down and turned in, though not under experimental conditions.

RE the "tent".  Another example of safety equipment (which may well have worked to some extent) going unused because it doesn't look cool enoough.  The giant bike helmet effect.  Or seat-belt effect perhaps.  On the other hand it looks like it may have increased it's silhouette.

I try it with .50 Cal, that thing has firepower. But people don't try to risk a halftrack or APC. A simple option of turret down but not too much down would be helpful. I once had an M8 Scout Car in just a sweet spot. It was too sweet and unrealistic nothing could spot it in the game. After 2 turns its position should have been obvious. Russian vehicles have often the Sagger ATGM System on top of their turret. In case of the BMP, you have to plot with the 73 mm smooth bore to get your hull down position. A gun which was designed for nearby targets which were too close for the Sagger. 

Edited by chuckdyke
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