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M1 effectivness


poppy
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Two questions. The M1 is a semi-automatic rifle with a 8 round clip using a 30-06 cartridge . Has its effectivness been under rated in CM in comparison to the bolt action K98 and Lee-Enfield and has the Mp44 been overrated? A lot has been made of the sound made when the ejected empty clip from an M1 hits the ground but I dont think that it would be noticed at 100m in the dirt. poppy :confused:

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More of a *clang* really but of course all the Germans would hear at 100 metres was

BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG as the eight rounds were fired rapid.

You may want to search the forum for SLA Marshall, "Men Under Fire" or somesuch. The argument is that rifles really didn't contribute much to battlefield casualties in any event, and statistics do point to artillery and machineguns as the most common (over 90%??) cause of battlefield fatalities.

As for suppressive "effects", if you can postulate a mathematical equation which would more accurately model this, I say go for it.

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Hello Michael, Ive read several writups that attribute a high proportion of casualties to artillary fire . I believe that this would be true in the areas "back" from the "real" front line of a few hundred meters or so. Check out this link.http://www.carlisle.army.mil/cgi-bin/usamhi/DL/showdoc.pl?docnum=57 Its possible that many poor troopers were killed by rifle fire and after the battle with artillary ranging back and forth across the battlefield the casualties were attributed to artillary. Picture it.Not a good Graemlins for this one. Machine guns used the same bullet cal. as the rifles. poppy

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I don't think the M-1 is underrated. I also don't think rifles caused many casualties.

First how it is treated in CM - it gets decent short range firepower, twice as much as bolt action rifles. For just one or two that makes little difference, but for a whole squad it has a large effect. At medium range it is better but less dramatically so.

The difference between firepower per man in typical whole squad match ups is not as large as the outperformance of the M-1 over the K-98, however. The reason is the German MGs are dramatically stronger than the US BAR - rightly so. A German squad with the MG still working is going to match the firepower of the M-1 equipped squad, because the full belt fed true LMG is just way more than a 20 round mag automatic rifle.

But there is also another way in which the M-1 is rated well by CM, that you may not have noticed. The ammo per squad is not constant (CMBB and CMAK here). Instead, the rifle heavy squads have more shots. The automatic heavy squads have less - sometimes dramatically less.

The reason is rate of fire based fire superiority is a matter of firing faster, not firing straighter. The total firepower over the whole ammo load is much closer for a rifle and an SMG, than the firepower in one burst. Especially at medium ranges. Some powerful German squads with 2 LMGs and a number of MP44s have excellent firepower numbers - per shot. But only 25 shots or so.

They throw ammo faster. But can't keep it up for as long as a rifle dominated US squad. As a result, they generally have to hold their fire until closer ranges, at least most of the time. That (accurately) lets the US side stand off and plink at them with a flock of M-1s.

Accuracy rather than rate of fire is a whole ammo load effect, rather than a per burst effect. You should not expect it all to be reflected in fp numbers. Some of it is reflected in ammo total numbers.

As for the casualties and their causes, most aren't killed. The idea that the arty scores are all "overkills" doesn't wash, because 3 out of 4 are just wounded, and between half and fully three quarters are from artillery. (The 3/4 figure includes things like grenades, mines, tank rounds, etc - shrapnel wounds generally).

Arty does most of the killing because it is supplied with big shells in industrial quantities. The attrition process may be slower than single tactical fights, but is nearly deterministic, statistically speaking. Throw literally hundreds of millions of heavy shells at the enemy and you *will* inflict millions of casualties. That is the main industrial process causing losses in a war. It is logistics driven and happens on month long and year long time scales.

As for bullets, the various available statistics suggest the hit rate for a full rifle round was on the order of 1/2000 to 1/10000, depending on the side, campaign, and conditions. And a typical basic load of ammo lasted a typical rifleman up to a week - when he could have readily shot all of it off in less than half an hour if he were firing even close to continuously.

You can do the math. It implies what ought to be obvious from a priori reasoning - the average rifleman did not hit anybody over the whole war. Think about it - some of the combatants came through without a scratch, and many of those scratched were hurt by other things. Since nearly everybody in combat was a rifleman - easily half, anyway - if the average guy hit 2 enemy over the whole war, then everyone would have been taken out by the riflemen alone. But they weren't.

So, one can deduce the average rifleman took on the order of 100 rounds into action and used them up in an average week, and kept this up for month (6 to 12, depending on causalty rates etc), and didn't hit anybody. Since you have to be a pretty lousy shot to miss targets you readily see, in range, thousands of times in a row, the deduction is that nearly all rifle fire was area suppression at targets that could not actually be seen.

The reason for this is tolerably obvious, too. People avoid being readily seen by large numbers of enemy riflemen. Those that do not successfully avoid this are rapidly removed from the target pool by being shot. Units brush up against each other with only thin edges in range of such weapons, so only minorities are in a position to direct aimed rifle fire at visible opponents.

Rifles are also outranged by the heavier weapons. Arty, tanks, mortars, towed guns, heavy MGs - these are the basic weapons that actually decide most combats. Which end with one side withdrawing, long before either is wiped out, almost all of the time.

The tactical role of infantry is to create the threat that forces the defender to reveal themselves, and by so doing bring down all the aforementioned heavy stuff on their heads. This threat is needed because defenders aren't that vulnerable to the heavy stuff while hiding unlocated in their holes. Infantry threaten to dig them out of their holes, to get close enough to spot them.

The critical threat here isn't the rifle, it is the grenade. Rifles and such cover those - drive defenders away from windows, below firing steps, etc. If the defenders stay anyway, grenades will get them. So once forced to go heads down, they generally get out of dodge.

What doesn't happen, is the two sides don't stand in full view of each other blazing away at visible targets with rifles, semi-auto or bolt. They wouldn't last 5 minutes, before casualties got close to "all engaged". Instead the war took years, wounding most but not all of the infantry combatants over that period, but only a few percent of them on a given day.

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In most CM scenarios there is very little arty support so the firepower at the squad level has more influence on the outcome and even more so if there is little or no armour involved. So the relative efectivness of each squad weapon is important to the game. The M1 is semi auto 30-06 and it seems to me that it would be a more effective weapon at 100m and 250m than it is credited with. With the K98 and LeeEnfield its aim ,fire,absorb recoil,chamber new round,aim,fire. With the M1 its air,fire,absorb recoil,aim,fire. Much faster and less chance of losing sight of your target.

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Hi flamingknives, I have a LeeEnfield,beautiful rifle with all the wood, and an excellent rifle to shoot but you still have to work the bolt and unless you are trained exceedingly well as the British expiditionary force was in very early WW1 then you would ,I think, do a lot better with a semi-auto with near the same ballistics. smile.gif Thanks flamingknives, I have only been on the fourm for a month or so but I have played CM and read the fourms for several years and have learned a great deal. I appreciate the reception that I have recieved. Thanks poppy smile.gif

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Years ago, INFANTRY JOURNAL published the principal conclusions of an in-depth, multiwar study by the U.S. Army of the contribution of small arms to U.S. battlefield casualties. The chief conclusion may shock many of you here. It was that at the line platoon level and lower, the "sharp end" where the real fighting takes place, small arms caused 80% of the casualties.

Yes, you read that correctly. MG, rifle, and related fires were what caused the greatest destruction to our combat infantry, not the mortars and artillery so readily targeted on larger, more static formations. The upshots of this discovery were radically improved body armor and helmets on the one hand for force protection on one hand, and the development of the incredibly lethal XM-29 (OICW) for the grunts and a bigger, nastier version

as a planned Ma Deuce replacement, tied into the Land Warrior technology for improved night vision,

minimal exposure combat, enhanced force effectiveness via timely intel and situation awareness, antifratricide measures, secure commo of messages and graphics, etc., on the other.

The above excursion into high tech warfare aside, the reason small arms are the principal source of casualties in line infantry platoons and below is precisely because small arms are both ubiquitous at that level and rapidly targetable. When two patrols encounter each other, the first thing that happens is that they begin spitting lead at each other from every rifle, SMG, and LMG they have, in an effort to gain and hold fire superiority, and infantrymen start getting hit in consequence. Battle at that level, especially in WW II, did not consist of the near instantaneous support from artillery, helos, and tacair we have come to think of as normal. Rather, you fought with what you brought. Anything else was gravy.

I therefore disageee with sweeping dismissals of rifles and MGs as being ineffective weapons. They did the damage where it hurt the most--to the small fraction of men constituting the real infantry combat power of often large formations.

Regards,

John Kettler

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In Nam (or since) maybe, where the enemy had little else - otherwise it is horsefeathers.

See http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/korea/reister/ch3.htm

Jump to Table 40.- Percent distribution of battle casualties by causative agents, U.S. Army, World War II and Korean War.

% KIA from bullets is about 32%, while for non-fatal wounds they are 20%. Non-fatal wounds outnumber fatal by more than 3 to 1 (up to 7 to 1 actually). Ergo, less than 25% of wounds (fatal and non combined) were caused by bullets.

In addition, infantry sustained 75 to 90 percent of battle losses, depending on the time period and unit considered. This is hardly a small portion of those hit. The statistics of infantry hit and of everybody hit cannot differ by a large factor, because they are the majority of those hit.

If the entire 25% hit by bullets are concentrated in only 75% of those wounded in the infantry - the maximum - the conclusion is still that only about 1 out of 3 were hit by bullets, rather than by shells etc.

Rifles matter for final protective fire, preventing small units in heavy contact from being overrun - especially when faster firing weapons have run dry. Rifles add to general harassing fire at longer ranges, which keeps heads down and established basic territoriality on battlefields (who "owns" what - everything within 400 yards when they can see and spray).

The average rifleman in WW II certainly did not hit a single opposite number over the entire war. Tactical and doctrinal wishing is a very powerful force in military imaginations. But math is stronger, and the average combatant can't kill more than the average rate of loss. The lowest tier of weapons must be - and are -appreciably under that rate.

[ September 08, 2004, 10:58 PM: Message edited by: JasonC ]

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Its sort of like saying "How many people get run over by a truck while mountain climbing?". Not very many. But you are more likely to get run over by a truck then fall screaming to your death in this life (hopefully).

Troops are under arty and mortar peril in most frontline situations. Even when just dug in and sweating out another day, they have the threat of catching that low percentage over a long time.

But they do not advance under directed small arms and MG fire usually every day.

Small arms, during assaults and small unit actions, are very deadly (if brief) in nature.

Small arms, especially rifles and MGs, are very deadly once they do hit. You have better 'strecher-odds' if hit by fragments than by MG bullets.

[ September 08, 2004, 11:38 PM: Message edited by: Mr. Tittles ]

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A most interesting link! Please bear in mind, though, that these are highly aggregated division level casualty statistics, whereas the Army study I read about was specifically focused on combat losses way down near the bottom of the whole reporting chain. By the Army's own admission, there is a lot of "slop" in the info given at the link, in that often there was little real effort made to determine the casualty producing agent.

The point I was trying to make is that the real combat work, in a U.S. WW II division at least, was accomplished by a relatively small portion of divisional manpower, a situation even more acute in the infantry poor armored divisions, and the Army's own finding was that small arms caused 80% of the casualties in the infantry line platoons and below.

While I have no problem with the argument that from a grand perspective, on average no soldier killed even one of his foes, I would argue that at the low tactical levels addressed by the Army in its study, soldiers on both sides routinely inflicted and received wounds and fatalities from bullets, using lots of ammo in the process, even if much of that ammo expediture went into suppressive and recon fires. Turnover rates in the line infantry units certainly support such a notion, too, for some went through five unit equivalents of replacements. I would further expect to find that of those men who actually were in combat on the front line, a relatively small proportion would be causing most of the casualties.

Tactical posture should also logically affect the distribution of friendly casualties caused, with more static situations yielding a greater loss percentage to mortars and artillery, whereas aggressive patrolling and exploitation after breakthrough would tend to yield more casualties from small arms.

I don't have the information handy, but I think it would be worthwhile for people like JasonC,

Michael Dorosh and others of a similar bent to take a look at AARs for rifle platoons in combat, see what their casualty rates were, and see how much ammo they consumed. I believe a great deal could be learned in this way.

Regards,

John Kettler

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I would appreciate the reverse sort of link, to whatever study John is referring to, because I still find the figure highly implausible.

As for turnover in infantry, in most US divisions in WW II it ran between 1 time and 2 times. And that reflected non-battle losses (disease, trench foot&frostbite, accidents, etc) about equal to battle losses. While single units might have reached 5 times, that was not the norm by any means.

Loss rates specifically in the infantry per day after a division entered the fighting are typically on the order of 1%, with whole division figures of 25 to 50 per day. In the heaviest offensive fighting that reaches a few hundred per day - US in Normandy, Germans at Kursk. Meaning the 25-50 loss formation becomes the battalion.

Yes you occasionally see a day on which a whole battalion is wrecked, but they are rare. Every engaged battalion bleeding slowly is the norm. That is still enough to burn out a battalion in a few weeks of heavy combat if not rotated or relieved or the offensive isn't called off, after which it is no longer in heavy combat because it can't keep it up.

There are many days of fighting, and division level units on the frontage stay a high fraction of the whole force. They do not annihilate completely in days and evaporate, not as a rule (occasional heaviest hit formations directly in the path of forces 2 echelons higher, sure. But this is infrequent in campaigns).

Incidentally, in the US forces in WW II, losses per man at the battalion level of aggregation ran about 3 times as high in the infantry as in armor, TD, or engineers. Artillery was 3-5 times lower again. This means losses in non-infantry weren't zero. But infantry formations are not a tiny portion of those engaged with widely different loss statistics. They account for the bulk of the combat losses, as already mentioned, so their experience and averages cannot drift far from each other (they pull the average to whatever they experienced).

And as already shown above from the overall medical statistics, most of those already quite low losses came from shell fragments. Most probably from indirect arty and mortars - since tanks were often rare on the other side.

The link I gave has stats for offensive posture, as well as overall. That is where most of the losses occur and importantly where most of them are actually categorized. Losses on defense have a high "unknown causes" component - wounded are often captured as well, aid stations displace, etc. The portion lost to bullets does not soar 2-3 times on offense. On the contrary, the average is itself largely set by experience on offense, particularly for the WW II figures.

Most tactical combat is about getting an enemy off a particular piece of ground. It is not a matter of destroying his force, but of putting modest portions of it in danger, sufficent to persuade them to leave a given spot. Artillery bleds the enemy over longer time scales than these tactical combats, and over weeks and months burns out entire formations.

This relative indecisiveness of directly inflicted tactical maneuver arms casualties is one reason breakthrough and encirclement matter. Units don't just die when hit frontally at modest odds - they instead bled slightly and displace. Fully encircled units fail to displace. The two sources of significant, campaign scale casualties are (1) artillery attrition and (2) maneuver arm encirclement.

"Artillery does the killing, armor does the fighting, infantry does the dying."

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Originally posted by JasonC:

I would appreciate the reverse sort of link, to whatever study John is referring to, because I still find the figure highly implausible.

http://www.geocities.com/jeffduquette/boccage10.html

As for turnover in infantry, in most US divisions in WW II it ran between 1 time and 2 times. And that reflected non-battle losses (disease, trench foot&frostbite, accidents, etc) about equal to battle losses. While single units might have reached 5 times, that was not the norm by any means.

Not exactly. The total turnover with non-combat losses is for the entire complement whereas the KIA/WIA/DOW is mainly to the the combat element of the division.

Loss rates specifically in the infantry per day after a division entered the fighting are typically on the order of 1%, with whole division figures of 25 to 50 per day. In the heaviest offensive fighting that reaches a few hundred per day - US in Normandy, Germans at Kursk. Meaning the 25-50 loss formation becomes the battalion.

Sounds plausible. Except, what about the non-combat losses which are figured in in the total casualty rate ? Constant 1% per day divisional loss rate in non-combat days to non-combat causes seems a bit excessive. Especially when trenchfoot for example does not figure in until winter time. And it is well know what kind of a bane it was for the US combat units during the winter of 1944.

And as already shown above from the overall medical statistics, most of those already quite low losses came from shell fragments. Most probably from indirect arty and mortars - since tanks were often rare on the other side.

I hope you noticed that artillery caused a constant ~50% of all types of casualties (lethal and non-lethal) where as small arms cause close to 50% more fatal (~30% of the fatal subtotal) than non-fatal (~20% of the non-fatal subtotal) wounds.

The link I gave has stats for offensive posture, as well as overall. That is where most of the losses occur and importantly where most of them are actually categorized. Losses on defense have a high "unknown causes" component - wounded are often captured as well, aid stations displace, etc.

How big is that unknown factor ? In the link you provided it says below the table 40:

1Excluded are cases where the specific causative agent was not recorded or was unknown.
The portion lost to bullets does not soar 2-3 times on offense. On the contrary, the average is itself largely set by experience on offense, particularly for the WW II figures.

What makes you think this is the case ? Small arms are more lethal, relatively speaking, than artillery since the number of lethal wounds inflicted is greater than the number of non-lethal wounds inflicted.

Most tactical combat is about getting an enemy off a particular piece of ground. It is not a matter of destroying his force, but of putting modest portions of it in danger, sufficent to persuade them to leave a given spot. Artillery bleds the enemy over longer time scales than these tactical combats, and over weeks and months burns out entire formations.

This relative indecisiveness of directly inflicted tactical maneuver arms casualties is one reason breakthrough and encirclement matter. Units don't just die when hit frontally at modest odds - they instead bled slightly and displace. Fully encircled units fail to displace. The two sources of significant, campaign scale casualties are (1) artillery attrition and (2) maneuver arm encirclement.

Except encirclement induced casualties are totally irrelevant in this context since irrevocable casualties due to attrition caused be surrender are not included in these figures.

When talking about the relative effectivness of weapons systems it is irrelevant if the enemy is neutralized because he was captured since that does not reflect the effectiness of the weapons system. It reflects the effectivness of tactics and doctrine.

"The enemy can not push the button if you disable his hand!" smile.gif

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Tero

I hope you noticed that artillery caused a constant ~50% of all types of casualties (lethal and non-lethal) where as small arms cause close to 50% more fatal (~30% of the fatal subtotal) than non-fatal (~20% of the non-fatal subtotal) wounds.

Yes, getting hit by rifle fire or MG fire is much more deadly. Most troops learned that helmets offered little protection from rifles or MGs.

CM does model the situations where bullets do have thier most deadly impact. A large scale number crunch can not factor in non-CM situations.

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Tero - that (useful) link does not address the portion of losses caused by small arms fire. It does address infantry casualties as a portion of the whole, and fits everything both John and I have already said on the subject.

You ask at one point why I think experience when attacking and average loss experience have to be basically the same. "What makes you think this is the case?" The definition of "average" does, as well as the explicit figures on the link I provided for losses during offensive operations. Most US infantry divisions spent most of their time in WW II engaged in offensive operations, not defensive. Most of their losses occurred during those offensive operations. Most of those losses were in the infantry. Ergo, most losses overall occurred to infantry during offensive operations - you can multiply out the figures for a lower bound if you like.

Well, the average breakdown of losses can't be 3 times higher in a category that constitutes the majority of the overall losses - by simple math. 3 times more than one half is more than 1.5, which is well above one, and all losses together only sum to 1 times the average - because that is the definition of "average".

Otherwise put, suppose small arms caused 80% of infantry casualties during offensive action. Infantry casualties are up to 90% of overall casualties, so even if nobody else were hits by bullets (which isn't the case), you'd have 72% of all casualties taken during offensive action, attributed to bullets. Losses during offensive action are at least as high as during defensive, and amount to something like 90% of the time. But low-ball that and call it 80% - you still get 57% of all losses attributed to bullets. But the actual figure is less than 25%, for overall losses, from the medical reports. Ergo, the hypothesis that 80% of infantry casualties during offensive action are caused by bullets can be rejected. It predicts losses to bullets overall, that are 2-3 times too high to fit the medical reports.

As for how large the "unassigned cause" losses are, you can read the report on the link I provided. During offensive operations the answer is around 12-13%. Not enough to skew the figures significantly. It is implausible that bullets are overrepresented in these unassigned losses, which might include permanently missing, unidentifiable, euphemistically reported psych cases, multiple wound cases, etc.

As for mortality, if you look at all the data on the link provided, yes bullets are more likely to prove fatal than fragments - which is another way of saying, a fair portion of the fragment wounds are relatively minor. You can also see that head wounds, whether bullet or fragment, are the highest mortality at around 40%, with chest and abdomenal wounds about half as likely to prove fatal at only about 20%, and all other areas quite unlikely to prove fatal - an order of magnitude lower.

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But---In CM the artillary available to either side is not enough [hopefully] to be the dominating factor as to which side wins. So-- I still believe that the M1 is under rated in the 100m and 250m and 500m ranges. Military rifles in WW1 were all bolt action and in WW2 Great Britian and Germany still depended on the bolt action rifle. The US on the other hand developed a semi-automatic rifle of the same ballistics +- for a very good reason. It can be aimed and fired without taking your finger off the trigger for eight rounds and this is a great advantage when you are trying to hit something, especially if that something is moving.

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Originally posted by poppy:

But---In CM the artillary available to either side is not enough [hopefully] to be the dominating factor as to which side wins. So-- I still believe that the M1 is under rated in the 100m and 250m and 500m ranges. Military rifles in WW1 were all bolt action and in WW2 Great Britian and Germany still depended on the bolt action rifle. The US on the other hand developed a semi-automatic rifle of the same ballistics +- for a very good reason. It can be aimed and fired without taking your finger off the trigger for eight rounds and this is a great advantage when you are trying to hit something, especially if that something is moving.

Poppy the point is that rarely would an infantryman ever get a chance to shoot more than one round at the same target anyway, so this advantage is negligible.
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Originally posted by poppy:

No Michael, The point is the comparison of the three rifles. M1,K98 and LeeEnfield as portrayed in CM smile.gif

And there is no difference in game terms between them, really, since battle rifles really didn't do much over and beyond suppressive effects, which if you had read any of the other posts in this thread besides yours, you would understand by now. smile.gif
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