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Historical or not?

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Had a fun little TCP/IP QB last night with a friend last night. A Soviet Assault(me) on a German (him) position, October '42. We tried, as much as our limited knowledge allowed, to keep the forces historical.

I purchased a '42 Infantry Battalion (w/ organic HMGs), some MG carriers, 4 platoons of t-34's of various models, and 2 platoons of KV-1s. Also, several 80mm offboard mortars and some air support. This was with about 40% casualties; so I ended up with an understrength inf battalion, 3 platoons of t-34s, 1 platoon of KV-1s, and 1 indy KV-1 and zilch for arty or air. Doh. Well, Russian arty is so dang slow anyway. Who needs 'em?

Now, I felt a bit naughty for taking the KV-1s rather than t-70s or Valentines... replacing my lights with heavies. But for an assault, I can't imagine going in with the t-70s. so slow, so under armored. Internally, I argued I was in the schwerepunkt of the assault, and would have been allocated some KV-1s from on high (corps? army?)

Was this in anyway justifiable historically?

My opponent, the inimitable and unspellable Von Hohenhausen, played his Panzer IIIs and IV well, and fought me to a draw (but, oh, so close. Just two more turns!) Says he had quite a fright when he saw the KVs.

So, in a friendly way, we are wondering if what I did was cricket. He's brushing up his skills for CMMC2, so the historicity will be relevant in the future.

Would it have been more historical to:

if not the schwerepunkt, (pardon any mispelling)

Have no KVs, just t-34s, light tanks, and maybe some SMG tank riders?

if the schwerepunkt,

HAve more KVs, fewer inf and t-34s? Maybe pioneers rather than rifles?

Or something all together different?

Thanks for your time, hope this is an interseting topic.

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I am working on a couple of scenarios set during Operation Mars, which was November '42 in the Rshev salient (Central). My research puts the unit mix in the assaulting Soviet tank brigades at roughly 55% T-34, 40% T-70, and 5% KV. Can't say how each were used, though: if the T-70s were mostly out on the flanks your mix could sitll be close to realistic.

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B&Ts "Izyium Diet Plan" is set in May of '42 and combines


KV-1s (2), t-34s (3), t-70s (2) and carriers and the like.

The historical background seems solid, but I don't know where they got the info for the force makeup.

My opponent looks to have a similar setup to your opponent's setup, but with some of those crappy short-barrel Stugs also. Can't say as I know for sure yet--we are playing pbem double blind. Obviously I am Soviet.

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Early on, KVs were found in company strength inside other tank battalions. But by late 1942, they were in 20 AFV "regiments" of their own, while the standard tank units had moved to mixed T-34 and T-60 or T-70. The T-34s had become much more common, KVs hadn't, so they couldn't keep them in all units.

Probably the least realistic bit is the MG carriers. (A minor matter is that the T-34 types would probably be the same, and that the recent low rarity model, the early 1943). Certainly not standard issue.

You spoke about "not seeing" lights working with an assault force, but they thought of their light tanks, especially something like the T-60, for the fighting side of what you'd do with MG carriers. As for helping move things around on the battlefield, T-34s can move infantry, and simple trucks would be the most common thing beyond that.

A "rich" tank unit in late 1942 had T-70s in addition to T-34s, instead of T-60s in addition to T-34s. Not KVs in addition to T-34s. There were 4 times as many lights (combined) as KVs.

CMBB gives them all +20 rarity in October, which is a bit misleading. The rarity of a pair of heavy tanks might compare with the rarity of a company of light ones, I suppose.

Were KVs used at the "schwerpunk"? In a breakthrough battle, perhaps. Their doctrinal role was breaching fortified positions. But they would soon be distanced. The deep penetrating force would again by T-34s plus T-60s or T-70s.

As for the infantry portion of the force, working with a tank unit you'd typically find the infantry types CMBB lists with a "mechanized" parent unit type. Which means a mix of rifle-heavy infantry with LMGs (from the motorized rifle brigades), SMG infantry (tank riders especially, from the battalions organic to each tank regiment), and small numbers of pioneers.

E.g. 12 T-34s (4 platoons), 10 T-70s (2 platoons), Tank type motor rifle battalion (which has 2 rifle, 1 SMG companies, an 82mm FO, 4 MGs and 6 ATRs), a pioneer company, 120mm FO, Yak 7B air support (sticking with your air support idea), 2 on map 82mm mortars, 2 sharpshooters, 2 trucks.

Then for tasking, you could form two little heavy weapons teams each with an FO, a mortar, 2 MGs, a sharpshooter, and a truck to help move some of them. Each working with a rifle company, as its foot "overwatch" element. SMGs on the T-34s themselves, with their company HQ forming a 4th platoon - a few half squads scouting ahead on foot.

T-70 platoons (which have radios and can thus spread pretty wide) scout for a pair of T-34 platoons each, see the enemy AFVs first while the T-34s are still hidden, deal with the first MGs the infantry runs across, flush out light guns, detect AT mines which pioneers then clear, etc. The idea being to risk less than a T-34 platoon, while still sending a tank (for anything less than an enemy tank).

Overall, the emphasis not on armor thickness but on redundancy, numbers, and teamwork.

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