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Tanks in the woods


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One of the biggest problems I have in utilizing armor is in forested terrain where the vehicles are channelized onto roads and the defenders have lots of places to hide. This is particularly exacerbated where the off-road terrain is soft, such as the battles fought in the Hurtgen Forest.

What are the general guidelines for deploying and fighting armor in such terrain?

[ May 24, 2006, 06:02 PM: Message edited by: Harper88 ]

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Infantry screens, both forward and deep into each flank, to flush any ambushes prior to your own armor entering the kill zones. It's also good to lead the armor with a lesser vehicle, just in case the enemy has any AT ambushes or minefields. Make sure this lead vehicle can generate enough firepower to assist the infantry in case they do run into trouble. A good example is the American M17 AA HT, or the British AA Staghound.

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The -17 variant is not in CMAK. But the M16 is devastating at close ranges. The M15 also works, and I actually like to use the White scout car, as it is cheap and can put out a lot of defensive fire.

As for tactics, I will lead infantry units about 40m ahead with move to contact orders, and the armor follows, also with move to contact orders. This way the infantry discovers any enemy units along the road and suppresses them while the tanks move up. When the tank spots the unit, it is taking cover and can't fire, and the tank stops and blasts away the resistance.

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The White Scout car is good value and firepower, plus a transport class of 6, useful for getting rested support units to the objective(s) swiftly and with some armor protection. The same when you're on the defence where you can shuttle support units to where they are most needed with the same if not better speed and safety.

I don't know what their suvivability is when they are the spearhead of an attack, however. Not too good I imagine.

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Take the advice of General Patton... fire at every suspected ambush location. All your guns should be blazing.

Don't wait for the enemy to shoot first. Shermans typically carry a lot of ammo, both HE and MG ammo. Fire away at bends in the road, fire some smoke and rush a position with your infantry.

A gamey manuever is to speed a jeep through and area and see what is around the corner. Be sure to keep moving so you don't end your ordered moves in a suspected enemy position. Very game but also very fun, especially with a .50 cal jeep.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would say that taking a company of Panzergrenadiers or Soviet Mech. SMG/LMG squads along with your Panzers and T-34s is pretty much invaluable.

I've even found Tank Hunter teams to be of quite a lot of use, as they can cover ground quicky, spot, and, at close ranges, neutralise enemy armour effectively if need be.

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