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I realize that these have been subject of much conversation but text on these weapons is had to come by and I did so I'm passing it on. The reference is "The German Infantry Handbook" by Alex Buchner 1991. A translation from the German. All in all a fery good reference taking the Arm and describing it from the individual soldier, building into sections platoons companies and so on, adding appropriate weaponry and HQ descriptions at the varying levels. In the chapter on the "Infantry Regiment" it talks of both the lIG 18 and the sLG 33. I quote "since the (firing) postions were generally concealed, indirect firing was used" and "aiming was done with the ZE 34 panoramic telescope" (only used for indirect fire) The characteristics of the weapon give ranges with different charges (800m Ch1 to 3475m Ch5) similar to a mortar or howitzer. The orbat of the lIG platoon accounts for 2 directing NCOs and 3 linemen (signallers) The photographs that correspond to the text show indeed both a stand alone IG with its very distinctinve panoramic sight and one in action with the gun number who is laying peering though, yup you guessed it, his sight. All this combines as weighty evidence for indirect fire.

Now as I recall, the arguement was made against indirect fire due to lack of evidence and the thought that it would give an unfair advantage to the German having his own "artillery" When one considers the IGs to be "fancy and slightly more accurate mortars" why the aversion? Granted there is not a lot of evidence as it regards IGs however, direct fire "artillery", roled as such, went out in the Great War and it went out for a reason.

Thanks

Rob Deans

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rob Deans:

I realize that these have been subject of much conversation but text on these weapons is had to come by and I did so I'm passing it on. The reference is "The German Infantry Handbook" by Alex Buchner 1991. A translation from the German. All in all a fery good reference taking the Arm and describing it from the individual soldier, building into sections platoons companies and so on, adding appropriate weaponry and HQ descriptions at the varying levels. In the chapter on the "Infantry Regiment" it talks of both the lIG 18 and the sLG 33. I quote "since the (firing) postions were generally concealed, indirect firing was used" and "aiming was done with the ZE 34 panoramic telescope" (only used for indirect fire) The characteristics of the weapon give ranges with different charges (800m Ch1 to 3475m Ch5) similar to a mortar or howitzer. The orbat of the lIG platoon accounts for 2 directing NCOs and 3 linemen (signallers) The photographs that correspond to the text show indeed both a stand alone IG with its very distinctinve panoramic sight and one in action with the gun number who is laying peering though, yup you guessed it, his sight. All this combines as weighty evidence for indirect fire.

Now as I recall, the arguement was made against indirect fire due to lack of evidence and the thought that it would give an unfair advantage to the German having his own "artillery" When one considers the IGs to be "fancy and slightly more accurate mortars" why the aversion? Granted there is not a lot of evidence as it regards IGs however, direct fire "artillery", roled as such, went out in the Great War and it went out for a reason. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It may be unfair to opponents of the Germans, but so is Tigers wink.gif

The German 7,5cm and 15cm IGs were indirect fire weapons, indirect in the same sense as mortars: able to fire at high angles against targets hidden from view.

The evidence is:

1. Basic logic. Why would you build a gun with elevation of 70 degrees unless you wanted it to fire indirectly?

2. Pictures and film showing infantry guns positioned in woods, behind banks etc. firing at high angles.

3. Wolfgang Fleischer: "Die motorisierten Schützen und Panzergrenadiere des Deutschen Heeres 1935-1945" writes about it (translated from German, so bare with me): "The development of the SP sIG 33 was based on a wish to support the mortars and light infantry guns (7,5cm lIG) of the heavy company of the motorized infantry platoon when giving indirect firesupport at the Schwerpunkt of battle."

4. Also from Fleischer a quote from the manual D2025 for the use of the sIG 33/1 of June 1st 1943 it says: "The heavy infantry gun 33/1 (SP based on Pz38(t)) is a heavy infantry weapon with the fire characteristics (direct and high-trajectory fire) of the sIG 33...." and goes on to emphasize that the Grille was NOT a Sturmgeschütz (your quintessential direct-fire SP-gun).

It would be wonderfull if we could finally lay the age old wargamer myth of the direct-fire-only German IG to rest

Claus B

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See http://www.battlefront.com/discuss/Forum1/HTML/002023.html for one of the more illuminating of the many discussions on this topic.

The Buechner book is cited as well. If you have new or better evidence, now would be the time to cite it.

There is no "age-old wg myth of IGs only firing directly". The argument was that they were suited to both roles, but in CM's time and geographical scales, the IF option was impractical, as in "not worth coding". It was not a common enough practice to make it worth modeling, the minimum ranges were corner to corner on most CM maps, and it took a long time to set up and register the guns.

There are also discussions of tanks using indirect fire which are similar. Yes, it happened, but not very often or very well, mostly beyond the scale of CM, and not significantly enough to stop progress on other projects to model for novelty value.

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After reading the thread that was passed along one thing jumped to mind. The almost total lack of references as to the "primarily direct fire" use of the IGs. Almost all of the references are those that state evidence for indirect fire. Reading the thread I got the overwhelming feeling that the anti-indirect camp was arguing from preconceived notions and not willing or able to provide evidence of the direct fire "only" way of use. I don't understand why the IGs don't use a similar code to the mortars with the indirect fire routines of the IG following those of their high trajectory cousins.

As to the tank arguement, tanks can't elevate their guns to 70+ degrees and don't have the charge flexibility. So yes the ranges would be excessive.

Thanks

Rob Deans

[This message has been edited by Rob Deans (edited 09-30-2000).]

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I think the IF side has more evidence in that thread because they are the ones that must convince BTS to change things smile.gif

Also, I don't think that making DP guns could be easy to code.

And the real issue with IF vs DF is one of the CM scale most of the rarity of usage. In IF, even the short barrel guns have a greater minimal effective than mortars. And this are GUNS, not HOWITZERS, which where made to fire in high angles.

I could be really wrong with all this, but seems logical to me biggrin.gif

Ariel

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mark IV:

See http://www.battlefront.com/discuss/Forum1/HTML/002023.html for one of the more illuminating of the many discussions on this topic..<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for the ref. The problem with that discussion is that no one is providing any solid evidence that the German IG were "primairily used as direct fire weapons" while there are many solid references, including veterans accounts that show they were often used this way. Come to think of it, I've rarely seen accounts dealing with these guns being used in the direct fire mode.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mark IV:

The Buechner book is cited as well. If you have new or better evidence, now would be the time to cite it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I did. The quote from Fleischers book AND a quote from a German field manual.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mark IV:

There is no "age-old wg myth of IGs only firing directly".<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh yes there are. Mention one wargame, board or computer, that treats the German IGs as indirect fire weapons.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mark IV:

The argument was that they were suited to both roles, but in CM's time and geographical scales, the IF option was impractical, as in "not worth coding". It was not a common enough practice to make it worth modeling, the minimum ranges were corner to corner on most CM maps, and it took a long time to set up and register the guns.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

What is practical in CM is not really my concern; My concern is that people, even those with a lot of knowledge on WWII persist in claiming that IGs were "only" or "primarily" direct fire weapons without presenting any data to prove their point. If you compare the German IGs with for exampe the Soviet 76mm infantry gun, it is evident that the latter is primarily a direct fire weapon with its elevation of only 25 degrees. The German IGs were designed different because they were used differently as both the veterans accounts, books dealing with the weapons and the field manual quoted before say.

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mark IV:

There are also discussions of tanks using indirect fire which are similar. Yes, it happened, but not very often or very well, mostly beyond the scale of CM, and not significantly enough to stop progress on other projects to model for novelty value.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is a completely different issue. Tanks and tank-destroyers were not DESIGNED to be used in the indirect fire role. Using them that way usually required the vehicles to be parked on slopes to get the necessary elevation and the assignemnt of artillery personell to control the fire.

I cannot agree that "it did not happen very often and very well". The 3" gun on the US M10 TD was used for indirect fire missions from Tunesia onwards and the minimal cratering caused by its shells made it very effective for interdiction fire against lines of communications etc. Based on the experiences of the Tunesian campaign, TDs were issued with the necesary sights and equipment for indirect fire and trained in their use. (see for example Gabel: "Seek, Strike and Destroy..")

Using tanks or TDs in this manner in a game of CMs scale and timeframe would probably not make sense, as it would require a lot of time to make the setup for indirect fire for tanks and TDs. You would need to find a good slope (there is some programming for you smile.gif), hook up with artillery spotters, make an ammo dump (not many shells carried in those M10s) - all in all not something you do from one minut to the other.

In a way, the direct/indirect fire discussion is somewhat silly since most guns were, at one time or another, used either way. We all know of German artillery having to fire directly at oncomming tanks, of 25pdrs being used to fend off German armour in the desert and the Soviet practice of issuing every artillery piece with AP ammo so it could double as anti-tank gun - the most notable one being the 76mm field gun. Perhaps less known is that the Germans, in an attempt to mimmick Soviet practices issued the 7,5cm PaK 40 to the artillery (were it was known as the 7,5cm Feld-Kanone (FK) 40).

When you read about the defensive battles around Narva by the III. SS-Panzerkorps you will also find references showing that in the defense, basically everything that could fire a shell was incorporated into the overall fire-plan. Mortars, anti-tank guns, infantry guns, artillery and (here comes another bone of contention) heavy machineguns.

Such temporary measures would probably not fit into CM for reasons of time and scale and perhaps the use of IGs for indirect fire in CM would screw up play-balance or be too troublesome to program.

That does not change the fact, however, that the IG was DESIGNED for this work, its crew TRAINED for it, the ammo DESIGNED for it - the whole setup is prepared, ready and intended for indirect fire missions.

Claus B

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Reading the threads pertaining to IF for IG's over the course of the last year has brought a couple points to mind:

1) In the Time/Life series of WWII books there is a series of pictures from the siege of Sevastopol showing the Germans pushing their 75mm IG's into position to be able to fire directly onto the Russian forts that ringed the city. In the caption this is remarked upon as if this was the exception not the rule.

2) A portion of the "argument" between IF and no-IF advocates seems to stem from a desire for the weapon to be more effective, ala give it the IF capability of mortars and it will be a more survivable asset. But at CM's scale, the simple fact that the crew is exposed to even small arms fire during operation means it is not going to be a very effective means of delivering HE ordnance in a DF role ("not a Sturmgeschutz"). Also, as referenced by the aforementioned book, weren't these units organized at the regimental level, thereby falling perfectly into the 75mm or 150mm OBA spotter slot.

Is it possible all this discussion derives from an over-representation (by scenario designers or QB purchase) of the weapon system at the closer, tactical ranges of most CM battles? Kind of like the Puma appearing constantly in it's recon role and the presence of many of the heavier tanks too often.

Perhaps it just needs to be stressed that while the IG was used in the DF role at ranges less than 1km, it was not the most common use and should be reserved for intentionally designed situations i.e.: rear area penetrations, paradrops, raids, and pounding fortified positions when the danger of direct mg fire has been drastically reduced.

Thoughts?

Mike

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Guest Michael emrys

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rob Deans:

As to the tank arguement, tanks can't elevate their guns to 70+ degrees and don't have the charge flexibility. So yes the ranges would be excessive.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I recall reading of at least one instance when groups of Shermans were used in the direct fire mode in Italy. The elevation issue was resolved by driving them up onto earthen ramps specially bulldozed for the occasion.

Just a historical footnote not intended as an argument for implementing tank IDF for CM3. wink.gif

Michael

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Guest Michael emrys

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by argie:

And this are GUNS, not HOWITZERS, which where made to fire in high angles.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Er, actually they *were* high angled-angled short-barreled weapons. That they were called guns reflects on how the Germans expected to be using them rather than anything intrinsic to their design. Perhaps it should be pointed out that even in direct fire, when the target is visually spotted by the weapon, high-angle weapons are intrinsically more accurate in placing shells on the ground. One example is if you are attacking any sort of entrenchment.

Michael

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by argie:

In IF, even the short barrel guns have a greater minimal effective than mortars. And this are GUNS, not HOWITZERS, which where made to fire in high angles.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ian Hogg has an interesting comment on this. When comparing the Soviet 76mm Model 1927/39 Regimental Gun, captured and used by the Germans as the 7,5cm Infanterie Kanone, with the German infantry guns (Infanterie Geschütze) he writes (referring to the Soviet gun):

"...it was called Kanone rather than Geschütz, the more usual term for an infantry gun. In German terminology, Kanone indicates a high velocity, flat trajectory weapon, and it is probably applied here because of its limited elevation and the use of a fixed round of ammunition with a non-adjustable charge."

Ian Hogg: "The Encyclopedia of Infantry Weapons of World War II"

As for the minimal effective range, the 7,5cm IG had a MAXIMUM range of 800 meters with the smallest charge which gave a muzzle velocity of 92 m/s. I am not a math man, but when firing a 6kg HE shell at 92 m/s at an angle of 75degrees, I doubt it would go very far!

Similar numbers for the 15cm sIG are:

- muzzle velocity with smallest charge 122 m/s

- max. angle 73 degrees

- shell weight 38kg

Claus B

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One thing though is that they lacked FO elements that were part and parcel with regular Arty for the Germans. In some ways it really wont effect much if they are allowed IF because they will just fire in the same manner as DF. If not, and in the rare cases were they were doing blind IF, they would function just like off board Arty, needing an FO to direct them -- probably representing a command element scouting out for a planned fire.

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"....are GUNS, not HOWITZERS, which where made to fire in high angles."

Yes they were made to fire at high angles as mentioned by Michael and Claus I think.

"......regimental level, thereby falling perfectly into the 75mm or 150mm OBA spotter slot."

This is a good point. Yes they would. My arguement is that as mortars are available both on and off board, so should the IGs with the same "type" of indirect fire capability as the mortars when employed on board.

"....One thing though is that they lacked FO elements"

".......IG platoons, each with: Platoon Commander, 2ic, Simultainious positioning NCO, 2 directing NCO(I and II)....(there are the FO assets you mention as lacking)......., 1 rangetaker, 1 messenger, ..........3 telephonists and another messenger, who were equipped to set up fire control connections with telephones and signal flags."

Having IGs with the same type of capability as mortars (on board) would enhance this magnificent game. I just do not see the evidence as to the "time and scope barring IF" arguement. This is a weapon with similar (though not the same) characteristics as those of the mortars with the "benefit" of the option of a low trajectory. Treat them as such.

Thanks

Rob Deans

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These guns ussuly where set up in preperation of bombardments or defence bombardments several KM behind the lines. Just about at the engagement ranges we see in CM the guns would have been loaded up, (to do it properly takes about 12 minutes a gun) and diverted a few KM back again. Only if the Enemy advanced to fast to retreat where the guns to be used as general direct fire support weapons. They where to vunerable to perform this duty as they where to large a target. The same firepower the these gus layed on the enemy could be delived just about with mortars, and Motorized Infantry Support guns, without risking this asset. I belive that if we see one or two on the field, giving direct fire support, thats ok, but the need to add indirect fire support for them is not needed. If you want indirect fire support, buy the artillery with the FO.

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Claus B:

{snip}

As for the minimal effective range, the 7,5cm IG had a MAXIMUM range of 800 meters with the smallest charge which gave a muzzle velocity of 92 m/s. I am not a math man, but when firing a 6kg HE shell at 92 m/s at an angle of 75degrees, I doubt it would go very far!

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

431 meters

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>

Similar numbers for the 15cm sIG are:

- muzzle velocity with smallest charge 122 m/s

- max. angle 73 degrees

- shell weight 38kg

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

849 meters

Shell weight is irelevant (except indirectly as it relates to wind resistance--which would further reduce the ranges)

--Philistine

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I don't know about you guys but I find idea of onboard 150 mm indirect fire gun very useful.

I think German IG's should have indirect fire capability much like mortars. Why not, fire control is quite similar as is ranges.

I don't think it's fair to say that IG's are modeled as OBA. I play low point QB's and very rarely I have enough points to get 150 mm OBA. On the other hand, single sIG 150 mm in indirect role would be much cheaper and perhaps more accurate, suitable for shelling small strongpoints.

IG's had the indirect fire capacity in real life and apparently were used in that role too. I hope this will be reflected in CM too someday.

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Eureka!

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Rob Deans:

... ranges with different charges (800m Ch1 to 3475m Ch5) similar to a mortar or howitzer. The orbat of the lIG platoon accounts for 2 directing NCOs and 3 linemen (signallers)...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

This is the data that allows IGs to be dual purpose in CM.

An 800m maximum range definately allows indirect fire within the confines of most maps, contrary to earlier statements.

As for difficulties in programming I don't think so. The organisation implies a solution identical to the one currently used by on map mortars.

Conclusion:

- IG batteries should be available as complete batteries, with a battery HQ.

- Infantry guns follow the same targeting rules as on map mortars. i.e. if the gun can see the target it's direct fire, otherwise the battery HQ can act as spotter if within command radius of the gun. (Minimum range is about 300m?)

- Off map IGs are represented as is with on map spotters.

These mods can't be too difficult to implement.

Cheers

Olle

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Jumping the side of the fence to become a pro 'indirect fire' for the german IG. Besides this superb thread 'forced' biggrin.gif me to go out and buy more books. Well done people just when I think the boards spinning outta control somthing intresting argument comes up with out the battle of wills aka ad homonine attacks that seem to be encroaching this once utopia of boards.

Find out why the word utopia is double edged for a smirk.

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From the jshandorf

"Why don't we compare reality to the game like Bastables likes to do all the time?"

Mr T's reply

"Don't touch me FOO!"

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Olle Petersson:

Minimum range is about 300m?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Calculating the minimum ranges last night, with some drag accounted for (maximum range drops by about 7% for the 75mm gun due to drag), I came up with 400m for the 75mm gun and 800m for the 15cm gun.

These figures are probably within 10m of the historical ranges.

Cheers

Olle

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These are some interesting numbers, Olle.

400 meters minimum range for indirect firing 75mm IGs limits their usefulness in CM greatly and 800 meters minimum range for the sIG makes indirekt firing nearly impossible unless you're playing on a really large map.

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Here's something else I'd like to consider. As IGs were organized at the regimental level, doesn't this mean that their use in either DF or IF would be properly planned? By this I mean that, if they were to be used in IF to support a particular BN or Coy, the normal/preferred course wolud be for FOs to be allocated, etc, meaning that they would show up in CM as off-board arty, with FOs to call in the fire.

This is also a reflection of the fact that I've rarely encountered a situation where the ability to use an IG in an IF role, whether blindly or with a FO, would have made a big difference in my conduct of the battle. Maybe I'm just missing out on one of the tools of the trade and will pay for it later on.

DjB

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Schugger:

... 800 meters minimum range for the sIG makes indirekt firing nearly impossible unless you're playing on a really large map.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

When I design scenarios 1000m depth is a small map...

400m is definately close range.

I see no problem, except for the time needed for reprogramming, with allowing IGs to fire indirect if the range is available.

If the map is small, then IF is not an option, but if there's enough depth in the map then you have that option in addition to direct fire.

Compare this to the ongoing discussions about tank gun performance at 1000+ m, something that would never be an issue in CM either... smile.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>I start to ask me if the german 75mm and 150 mm (non rocket) FOs do not exactly represent these guns?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not exactly.

- The 75mm battery had 6 guns, and the 15cm battery two guns. CM Spotters control 4 guns each.

- The response time is also too long to be close support, should be closer to (but not quite as fast as) the mortar response time.

- The artillery spotters are more appropriate for same calibre howitzers (also available as on map guns).

Cheers

Olle

[This message has been edited by Olle Petersson (edited 10-03-2000).]

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Thanks for the information, Olle.

For the indirekt fire usage:

Well, I usually play QB on medium maps and the depth is somewhat around 1000 meters, deduct the two setup zones and add two or three turns in the game ( when the forces run towards their objectives) and the most part of the enemy force is in your minimum range zone.

Granted, this is only a problem for QBs, but there are some other points which make IF for IGs not a so useful option:

First, you need an additional HQ unit which could be more useful elsewhere.

Second, IF is somewhat unprecise compared to DF

Third, it is more difficult to redeploy an IG ( the sIG in particular) then mortar units, so if you're forced to move them to give DF support, you will loose precious time and make the things vulnerable to enemy fire while moving.

Well, that is why I prefer to use the big guns in a direct fire support role, but this is of course a matter of personal taste.

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Guest Michael emrys

<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Schugger:

Hmmm, if the minimum range prohibits the use of 75mm and 150mm IGs to act in the role of CM's indirect onboard arillery, I start to ask me if the german 75mm and 150 mm (non rocket) FOs do not exactly represent these guns?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Doubtful, at least in the case of the 150s. While there were 6 75s in the cannon company, there were only 2 150s. I think CM models off-map batteries as having 4 to 6 howitzers or guns each. German divisional arty contained one battalion of 12 150mm howitzers, so the FO probably represents one battery of them.

Michael

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