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German tactics vs armor

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As I embark on a PBEM game of the Chir engagement secnario by JasonC, am rereading the splendid piece re German defence, by Timothy Wray


German tactics against armour, in the absence of tanks or even ATGs:

sit tight

strip the infy from thanks, with liberal lashings of HMG, mortar and arty

wait for tanks to come close

destroy as many as possible at close range (molotov cokctails, grenade clusters)

those that get through are taken out by ATGs or armour in depth.

i.e. 1941 "tanks, schmanks" style defence

-- does this work at the CMBB scale ?

and what's the best counter ? -- except for just "wait for infy to catch up while we T34-76s plaster suspected HMG and infy positions with our endless HE" ?

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An infantry-only defense (without ATGs or armour) against a soviet combined-arms attack commanded by a capable opponent is a very difficult task and the outcome pretty much depends on the terrain. If the terrain provides positions that negate the advantage of supportive (long range) HE tank fire your chances for a succesful defense increase a lot. A reverse slope defense or city fight are examples of such positions.

Still, you have to pretty much rely on your opponent to make mistakes, i.e. being reckless with his armour.

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No, close assault is very effective in CM, easier than in reality.

What helps the tanks in CM, beyond what they can do in reality, is they spot the infantry too readily, even when the tanks are close and buttoned and the infantry have various forms of cover. Also, there are a limited number of full squad targets to shoot, when in reality the infantry are a much looser cloud of individual men.

The last also interacts with spotting. In CM, if a squad fires at the accompanying infantry 250m out, and are spotted, the whole squad will stay spotted through all movements pretty much throughout the rest of the engagement. Unless the whole squad can break LOS completely. In reality, a few of the men would be seen, and they'd reposition. The tanks coming closer would not know where most of the individual men were, once they stopped firing.

Foxholes are also able to give 100% cover - like only walls give in CM - to men that go deeply heads down. Dug in infantry attacked by armor without supporting infantry, could and did "go deep" and hide, and effectively "split" down to men not bulked up into squads. It wasn't that they could easily kill the tanks, they couldn't. But the tanks could not so easily kill them, either - a few but not all. Accompanying infantry break this tactic by using grenades on the holes, and by having enough men to send someone after each defender.

Being overrun by armor still wasn't fun. But it was easier for infantry to live through it stealthily than it is in CM, and tanks were more likely to keep going for operational reasons, etc.

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Yes, I think that was my point, which I expressed unclearly-- CM models the actual assaulting as v. effecting (grenades take out tanks)-- but the problems are spotting, since the "close assault" is in effect an abstraction of heroes with Teller minen sneaking up, but the squad is still a single. persistently spotted target.

Wray describes how strongpoints would have spiderweb of trenches surrounding them, specifically to allow fast relocation of tank hunting teams, to get close to T-34s when they tried to overrun or by pass-- that just doesn't work in CMBB.

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