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MG42 Kill halftrack?


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MG42's, I have found, will kill halftracks, but only at extremely close range (30m-70m I am guessing). Also, it may take a couple of turns. Otherwise, your MG will probably just button the crew, or maybe even hit the TC and shock the vehicle. It might be worth it only if the vehicle is very close, and you may kill it, or if it is distant, and your MG42 will register only a sound contact, not really giving away its position.

If I were you though, I would hold my fire and use something else. Surely a halftrack is not a threat in your PBEM game. If you have light flak, use that. It will tear the HT to shreds.

I hope this helps.

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How far away is the HT? How many MGs are firing?

If you hit them from 250 to 400 meters with 2 MG42 HMGs (not MG42 LMGs) you will have better than a 50% chance of killing the HT per turn. Even better, beyond 250 meters you appear to be a sound contact to him and you will not have to worry about counterfire (unless he triangulates and area fires at you, but the risk is worth taking).

Waiting until the HT is 30 to 70 meters increases your chances for a kill, but you will be spotted for sure and shot at! Better to open fire now if you do not fear counterfire (i.e., the enemy is more than 250 meters away from you).

I have killed US HTs at 800 meters. They have 7mm of armor and an open top. HMGs will get em!

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Hey, thanks guys. I've opened up with the 42 from a hill so I'm also hoping I might just get the angle for a top down shot. I'm not overly hopeful this time because there's a lot of US overwatch, Shermans and othet halftracks. But the advice seems good so that I'll adjust my thinking on this.

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7mm of armour is just not enough to stop rifle size rounds, as delivered by practically any machinegun. I have read an anecdote where a US sergeant would take a bunch of new recruits and fire his pistol through the side of a halftrack to demonstrate that sitting in a halftrack tinking they were safe would only get them killed.

An MG42 will soon kill a US HT; it's just a matter of time.

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Of course it will! The 7,92mm round coming from the MG42 or MG34 is powerful enough to penitrate the American halftrack. My last battle I knocked out a lendlease M3 halftrack of the Russians at 114m. I would say it is safest and best to engage the halftrack below 100m if possible though. It only takes a hit in the right spot or enough hits to knock them out. smile.gif

Tschüß!

Erich

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The German HMGs, both MG34 & MG42 had an AP round which IMHO is fairly accurately portrayed in CM. The basic stat that I have on it is that the AP round could perforate 8mm of armour at 550 metres. That is why players are seeing HTs with 7mm of armoured thickness being abandoned by their crews or knocked out at such ranges as they are witnessing. ;)

While the LMG versions of MG34s & MG42s arn't modelled with the AP round & penetrating capacity, AIUI all German vehicle mounted MGs are modelled with the AP round. I don't know how accurate this absolute distinction is, certainly the Panzers were deliberately supplied with the AP MG round specifically to help them to deal with the enemy ATG crews behind their thin shields. (In my prime source about this German AP MG round, the British in the Western Desert complain about this as a tactical problem if their ATG crews held their fire into such short ranges and consequently needed to be trained to avoid allowing themselves to be so exposed to Panzer mounted MG return fire.) :cool:

Not sure about say Kebelwagen MGs having the AP round in either historical reality or in CM but I can't fathom why the LMGs wouldn't have been supplied with them since they were exactly the same weapon using the same ammunition as the vehicle mounted and the tripoded HMG versions anyway. I can think of the only real possible difference from the supply side of things being that the non-LMGs were actually 'fired from the box' while the two man LMG crews had to carry their ammo after taking it out of the box first, if not using a drum. OTOH at the same time the drum was used for some vehicle mounts including Panzers though! :rolleyes:

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I've had german squad machineguns kill bren carriers at 120m.

But of more interest is how effective are the allied MG's vs 251's and 250's??

Vickers and Brens don't seem to have much effect as low as 80m range in a game I'm playing where I've got lots of walking infantry with virtually no anti-tank (1 Bren ATR carrier left, 1 MH a/c with a 20mm & a few portee 2 pdrs that are trying hard to get into position) & they're being machinegunned to death by hte buggers :(

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Originally posted by Stalin's Organist:

I've had german squad machineguns kill bren carriers at 120m.

But of more interest is how effective are the allied MG's vs 251's and 250's??

Vickers and Brens don't seem to have much effect as low as 80m range in a game I'm playing where I've got lots of walking infantry with virtually no anti-tank (1 Bren ATR carrier left, 1 MH a/c with a 20mm & a few portee 2 pdrs that are trying hard to get into position) & they're being machinegunned to death by hte buggers :(

From what I've noticed, the Vickers, Bren, US .30, BAR, and the French MMG and HMG don't penetrate German halftracks. The .50 cal will do it reliably, both from the crew and vehicle served weapons.
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This topic has been discussed in a bit of depth a few times. If you do a search for "smk" maybe with my membership number attached, you should be able to dig those old discussions out. SmK was the term used for the armour piercing ammunition issued to the German MG34/42.

The reason the German HTs are a bit better protected is that they were, IIRC, designed to be SmK-proof. This was achieved by armour slope and thickness. 7mm unsloped is not SmK proof.

All the best

Andreas

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It is funny how unpredicatable MG42s are vs. HTs. I am currently playing a game against a guy who brought 17 M3 halftracks. I have killed 8 of them with HMG fire. This sounds good, but I have been hammering his HTs for upwards of 20 turns and my HMGs are running out of ammo.

In numerous tests, HTs usually survive only one to three rounds vs HMGs at 100 to 400 meters. This guy must have sandbags in his HTs!

My only explanation is that my guys are somehow mistaking the HTs for something else (e.g., scout cars). The game is almost over and we shall see!

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The game ridiculously overmodels the effectiveness of rifle ammo against thicker armor. That is what an MG34 or 42 is firing, rifle ammo. Yes that might penetrate 7mm if it hits it absolutely flat. It has no chance in heck against 12mm stuff on carriers, nor even against the 10mm stuff on Russian armored cars.

If they only killed M3 US halftracks that would be fine. They don't, they penetrate like 50 cals do in reality. Which is simply wrong, another instance of German physics in CM. The items that suffer due to it compared to their historical performance are British and Russian light armor, e.g. Brens and BA6,10,64s, not the always-cited US halftracks, which are about all they actually might penetrate.

When this was pointed out to the designers in the past, they acknowledged that a 7.92mm round won't penetrate 10-12mm, but claimed that multiple strikes somehow would. Which is again nonsense, and not something given to any other weapon in the game.

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13 (some sources say 14) mm was considered SmK safe. Anything below could be penetrated, depending on range.

I have posted SmK use figures for a specific engagement elsewhere in the forum. It was not rare - in the specific engagement for which I have the data, 8% of the 7.92mm ammo fired by an infantry division in 1941 in Russia was SmK.

All the best

Andreas

[ April 06, 2006, 02:55 AM: Message edited by: Andreas ]

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To elaborate on that post (the missus was getting in the way of me posting), this means that the MG34/42 was not firing rifle ammo, it was firing armour piercing ammunition designed in WW I, and its performance in CM is basically correct, although I won't vouch for performance at range, since I have not tested it.

This armour piercing ammo could, according to the sources I have seen, penetrate 12 (or 13) mm at 100m, presumably at a 90 degree angle off the vertical. This was the reason why the Panzer I was designed with 13mm armour alround, because the designers presumed that Germany's future enemies would field infantry weapons and ammo capable of penetrating 12mm, just like the German army did.

Unless shown wrong by a quote, I presume that what BFC meant when they talked about repeated hits, was repeated penetrations. After all, one 7.92mm round penetrating won't make much of a difference unless it is a lucky hit. That story changes if a few dozen penetrate.

Moral of the story - I think Jason is certainly wrong in his analysis why and probably wrong in his follow-on charge that the anti-armour performance of German MG ammo is overmodeled. For players - keep HTs well away from German machine guns, and light armour with less than 13mm at least 100-200m away, preferably more, even if you know that no ranged AT weapons are available.

Regarding universal carriers and their ability to stand up to SmK - there is a nice combat account of a counterattack by 3rd division on the Dunkerque approaches in 1940. Monty ordered an attack to be conducted, using Brens like tanks. It was a shambles - nobody had told them that German machine guns would penetrate Bren armour, and they found out the hard way. You can check that one in the divisional history 'The Iron Division'.

All the best

Andreas

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