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Question for Grogs


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Hi All,

I am reading "Gold Beach-Jig" by Tim Saunders from the Battleground Europe series of guidebooks.

He makes numerous mention and has photos of what are called "Tobruk positions".

The photos are on pages 124, 154, 156 and 183.

Even with these photos, I still don't have a clear understanding of just what these Tobruk positions are, and how they would be represented in CMAK.

Would they all be represented with a concrete pilbox...? or would it be wooded pillbox...?

I'm not sure if the sandbag tile with a trench fortification positioned inside of it, would do it justice.

Anybody have any knowledge on these particular fortifications...?

Thanks in advance,

Ken

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"Tobruk positions" are fortifications that are level with the ground. They are so named because Rommel first viewed this type of postion at Tobruk. The fortifications seen by Rommel were actually constructed by the Italians, and were so well sited and constructed that he later adopted them into the Atlantic Wall. It is basically a concrete bunker that's been dug into the ground, thus reducing its target profile. As such, the concrete pillbox would be a much closer fit than a wooden bunker, but even this doesn't really do the Tobruk justice. The Tobruk was hard to see, hard to hit, and usually held only one MG. While the concrete pillbox is notoriously hard to kill it is too visible, too large, and too well armed to be a true Tobruk.

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kenfederoff,

The business end of the position could be thought of as a man height piece of reinforced concrete pipe set flush into the ground, with an MG mount. Properly, that's a tobruchstellung.

http://www.ospreyfubar.com/extract3.php

There is no good way to simulate this small hard target. A foxhole has too low a cover factor, a pillbox is too big, nor is it a trench. Maybe a foxhole in Rough, if that's possible? Been awhile!

Other flush fortifications had various small panzer turrets, some very old (FT-17)

http://www.fleischmann.com/artmaster/temp.asp?item=80081

http://www.fleischmann.com/artmaster/temp.asp?item=80011

http://www.moduni.de/product_info.php/products_id/7633172

There were also mortar pits and AA pits on the same basic scheme.

My suggestion to model the kind of Panzerturm at D-Day would be to use some obsolete tank with the turret gun you want and select the dig-in option, which will prevent it from moving. Won't be flush with the ground, so park it in decent terrain to offset this, say, rocks!

The Panzerturm in here (Liri Valley in Italy) is either from a Panther or a Mark IV, but I include it because the explanation of what it took to reduce the position is a) groggy and B) highly CMAK pertinent.

http://www.zuehlke.ca/military_liri_valley.php

Regards,

John Kettler

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...My suggestion to model the kind of Panzerturm at D-Day would be to use some obsolete tank with the turret gun you want and select the dig-in option, which will prevent it from moving. Won't be flush with the ground, so park it in decent terrain to offset this, say, rocks...!

Regards,

John Kettler

Hi Stoat and John,

Thanks for the explanations and suggestions.

I very much appreciate it.

Best regards,

Ken

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Ken,

You're welcome!

Here are some threads with essential information for what you're trying to do.

Percentages of cover and concealment

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=42529&highlight=cover+percentages

Trenches vs. foxholes

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=4102&highlight=cover+percentages

See last post here.

http://www.battlefront.com/community/showthread.php?t=44344&highlight=cover+percentages

Believe this will also be of real help (assuming I got the right one)

http://amb3940.be/pos/Cover story.pdf 2 231 KB

Regards,

John Kettler

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John K,

That battle action you included for the Liri Valley was horrific. I am always amazed at the men in those actions. After seeing their squad destroyed by the obvious minefield they were traversing, the men continued on singly or in small groups. Terrifying battle action. It is a wonder anyone survived such action.

Heinrich505

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  • 4 weeks later...

I believe there were 18 Pantherturms in the Hitler/von Senger Line, with 2 near Piedimonte San Germano holding back the Poles, one east of Pontecorvo and the others strung along the line between, including a couple at the Aquino airfield (huge field of fire!). One of those mentioned in the account above is pictured in an IWM photo which shows a handful of KO'd Churchills in front of it. I have also seen a photo of a Panzer II turreted Panzerturm allegedly in the Liri Valley, but with no further details of its location. I met one of the German gunners in Cassino once, whose unit had KO'd more than a dozen Allied tanks in a day. The website www.dalvolturnoacassino.it has an article describing how they go to find the site of his Pantherturm.

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Just saw this....

Yes, dug in tanks in concealing terrain might work.

But the most important thing with these Tobruk postitions is that they were hard to see and offered good cover. As noted above, bunkers etc won't do - except in concealing terrain.

But trenches or foxholes are spotted easily from far away: The better experience the spotter, the less concealmeant the terrain offers for the foxhole or trench, the worse. In the following battle http://the-battle-of-lauben-campaign.foren-city.de/topic,627,60,-phase-3-battle-d6.html a few survivors of a vet inf plt low on ammo but backed by 152mm and 85mm cleared a foxhole line in brush 80m ahead of them (crack spotted even better). You won't see the inhabitants till 40m or so - but that doesn't matter. Area fire will work.

So you either need lots of craters and place the defenders in some - which gives good cover to the attacker, too, reducing the defenders advantage.

Or you need lots of rear slopes to hide the foxholes/trenches/bunkers due to blocks in LOS instead of concealment from trees/brush/etc until they open up. Which will make it pretty boring and scripted for the defender, but might work as defending AI.

Small ondulations with an uphill attack might work - and will not allow the attackers overwatch to profit from borg spotting. Some empty trenches without LOS to defenders further back to make area fire expensive while not giving the attacker good cover for firing positions.

Besides that, MGs in trenches are tougher than bunkers. Rubble is great regarding cover and concealment. Bunkers in houses or rubble will not represent Tobruk positions but will create the same surprise (first time)

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Joachim,

So, Bigduke6 not only trots the globe, writes incisively on breaking international upheavals, but plays CMBB too? Color me impressed! Please explain just what we're looking at. Is this an op, and improvised campaign, or what? Looks cool! I see some very unusual things happening, like capturing minefields and using them.

Regards,

John Kettler

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It was a campaign with GMs and a dozen+ players for each side. Intended map size 2x2km with prepared detailed maps. But on several occasions maps got bigger or shifted from the grid as the situation demanded it. Maps where then redone by GMs or players.

Most of the rules etc are in the General forum, as is the note that the whole thing stopped due to lack of GMs and RL issues of the remaining ones. Forums are open, so you can read the whole thing by yourself.

I learned quite a few things in that one... like spotting foxholes and trenches, use of HTs in thick fog, marking pre-planned firing positions for tanks in the defense and the poor Inf-AT capabilities of Soviet troops in '45.

Gruß

Joachim

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