Jump to content

Normandy: Immobilisations


Recommended Posts

what i love about this place is the rationalization and denial of obvious errors.

it was found in Soviet studies (http://www.battlefront.com/community/showpost.php?p=443704&postcount=104) that 4 out of 15 T-34s (> 25%) would experience an immobilization due to breakdown after driving some 8 km under stress of potential combat (in contrast to 5-10% losses on 300 km roadmarches). their 100-200 km deep armored penetrations were made possible only by the development of various synthetic hallucinogens that made the drivers unaware of the potential threat of combat.

Or maybe I just don't think it is an obvious error (unlike the CMBB turn rates of stationary vehicles or turret slew rates, which seem insane to me).

What does seem obvious to me is that driving a vehicle along a road (whether safely in friendly territory or deep behind enemy lines) is a very different beast to driving a vehicle rather frantically after the tank next to you brews up, you see a tiger lining you up for the next shot, and you thrash the engine in an attempt to get in to cover as fast as possible, without much concern for potholes, tree stumps or any other hazards in between you and safety.

Those may be opposite extremes of the 'oh bugger I've broken my tank' spectrum, but both are identical in CM terms - a fast movement order. Both have the same bog rate (until such time as they decide to code some situational awareness algorithm that attempts to discern what kind of 'fast' move you are making). So you have to make the bog rate some kind of hybrid, meaning (inevitably) that you will likely overestimate bogging on roads and underestimate it in rough terrain.

You also have to fudge thge variety of vehicle states. From brand new, well maintained vehicles to ones that got knocked out yesterday, and have been barely jury-rigged in to some kind of running order and thrown back in to the fray.

One more random observation: roads aren't always well maintained highways either. An East German friend of mine told me (back in the early 90's) about how roads where he lived were so riddled with cracks and potholes, that they had special signs to indicate when the road ahead was good enough quality that you could drive normally. And having driven in Romania and Bulgaria, I've seen plenty of roads that are simply made by pouring tarmac on to the ground (with no real ground preparation or foundations) and when the ground inevitably shifts the whole road breaks up. CMBB roads have no guarantee of being decent, or even servicable, quality.

Whether CM bog rates are right I have no real idea. I just have no problem with the idea that they don't match up well to good quality vehicles driving at constant speed on good roads.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 286
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

URC,

As Kwazydog said, and I've already said, this is definitely a tempest in a teapot situation. Bogging is not NEARLY as likely to happen as some have insisted over the years. PaulAU... how many times have you had a vehicle bog on a dry road surface? How many vehicles have you driven down a dry road surface over the years you've been playing CM? I'd be surprised if it is more than a fraction of a percentage. Therefore, bringing that up each time you post can be categorized as a "strawman" or "outlier" example which has nothing significant to offer this discussion.

Perversely, that happened to me in a game a few weeks back. The mountainous one in the marines campaign. Humvee driving along the road bogged and became immobilised without leaving the road. Can't say that it ruined the game for me however...

I did plenty of off-road driving with tracks and wheels in that scenario on wet grass with no other bogging mind you :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, i really should drop sarcasm. :)

for an example reference, 5th GTA at Kursk. between 7th and 8th of July it travels 200 kilometers, on tracks, in 24 hours. its 29th TC's losses are 4.6% for T-34s, 5.9% for T-70s and the only KV-1 it has (total armored losses 4.2%). its 5th GMC losses are zero, so combined 2.2% T-34 and 3.8% T-70 losses (2.3% total armored). then on 9th it receives orders to travel further 100 km which it does during the same day, again on tracks. 28th TC losses are a single T-34s and 5th GMC again loses nothing.

so T-34 losses per km is about 0.0073% even with these quite extreme distances and speeds. even for just 29th TC for 7-8th July, just for T-34s, you get only 0.023% per km. to achieve 23% losses you would have to drive 1000 km. compare to CMBB with 25% losses for 8 km (125 times shorter distance and higher losses, or for 5th GTA totals 3000km to achieve 21.9% losses equals 375 times shorter distance and higher losses). yes, simplistic math etc etc but still.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

but both are identical in CM terms - a fast movement order

fast vs move etc doesn't really make such a difference in CMBB tho, which makes it an issue for some (too high randomness, lack of control).

I just have no problem with the idea that they don't match up well to good quality vehicles driving at constant speed on good roads.

me neither and personally i would prefer more bogging what comes to bad terrain and bad vehicles, but a multiplier of 400 is a bit too high and i can understand that it annoys some people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW, to give a higher margin of strees caused on badly designed or otherwise weak tank components in combat conditions, Panther's notoriously weak transmission during early days resulted in 5% transmission breakdowns within 100 km and 90% within 1500 km of combat. so even notoriously weak designs would take relatively good amout of driving in combat conditions before a breakdown would be experienced. the test results from the linked thread of 10% Tiger I losses for driving 4 km on flat ground on dry conditions is pretty extreme in the light of Panther transmission breakdowns.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

URC,

Mixing apples and oranges. The numbers you report are losses, while comparing them to bogged vehicles in CMBB. Even if you compare to immobilized, a immobilized vehicle is not reported as a loss in those reports.

I highly doubt you can find, [please prove me wrong!!!] how many tanks were immobilized or bogged at some point during those marches. We don't even know if a vehicle broke down, was towed and repaired after that march.

So comparing them to immobilized or bogged vehicles in CMBB is meaningless. How many of those CMBB pixeltruppen would have been recovered by a recovery vehicle, or towed out by another tank or whatever after the battle? How many made it back to the depot and would have been repaired?

Rune

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A first scan of Panzertruppen I didn't result in any data about unforced breakdown. As a side note, I didn't read it in a long time and I'm amazed how bad many of the paragraph anecdotes in there are.

Even reading Tigers in the Mud gives better results here since it usually mentions how many tanks went off on a quest and if some didn't arrive at the scene Carius whines about it.

Overall I still think it might not be required since nobody seems to actively want to replicate CMBB breakdown rates in CMx2.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW, to give a higher margin of strees caused on badly designed or otherwise weak tank components in combat conditions, Panther's notoriously weak transmission during early days resulted in 5% transmission breakdowns within 100 km and 90% within 1500 km of combat. so even notoriously weak designs would take relatively good amout of driving in combat conditions before a breakdown would be experienced. the test results from the linked thread of 10% Tiger I losses for driving 4 km on flat ground on dry conditions is pretty extreme in the light of Panther transmission breakdowns.

You cannot use data that has been written up just because the breakdown rates for that vehicle or that situation were so outrageously high that people bothered to write reports about it. That's like taking an 1980ties Ford as a benchmark for car reliability.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mixing apples and oranges. The numbers you report are losses, while comparing them to bogged vehicles in CMBB. Even if you compare to immobilized, a immobilized vehicle is not reported as a loss in those reports.

i am comparing to immobilized, not bogged.

yes, a vehicle that is not available for use that day is listed as a vehicle not available for use that day. it doesn't matter what the cause is.

the only differentation is between damaged and destroyed (includes abandoned) vehicles. so i do not know wether a T-34 became listed as damaged because it run out of fuel, threw a track, broke its transmission or drove into a lake.

however i do know that they were not attacked by enemy forces.

I highly doubt you can find, [please prove me wrong!!!] how many tanks were immobilized or bogged at some point during those marches.

yeah, i have no idea how many were bogged only temporarily. the distance travelled & the time it took & the size of the units does tell something about the speed of movement though.

We don't even know if a vehicle broke down, was towed and repaired after that march.

it's listed as not available for use and it's listed as damaged and then it stays listed as under repair until it finally is listed as returned and available for use again.

for example that KV-1 that was "damaged" during the road march of 7-8th doesn't return to service until 10th. in between it's "in repair".

So comparing them to immobilized or bogged vehicles in CMBB is meaningless. How many of those CMBB pixeltruppen would have been recovered by a recovery vehicle, or towed out by another tank or whatever after the battle? How many made it back to the depot and would have been repaired?

recovered, repaired and returned back to the formation already during the same day? while one third of a T-34 force is lost for every 10 km it moves? my bet is that the service troops shoot themselves after the first 2 hours. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You cannot use data that has been written up just because the breakdown rates for that vehicle or that situation were so outrageously high that people bothered to write reports about it. That's like taking an 1980ties Ford as a benchmark for car reliability.

those numbers serve as a good upper margin for breakdown percentages under combat conditions exactly because they were seen as outrageously high.

it tells us that normal expected breakdown rates in combat would be well under those given for these early Panthers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A first scan of Panzertruppen I didn't result in any data about unforced breakdown. As a side note, I didn't read it in a long time and I'm amazed how bad many of the paragraph anecdotes in there are.

Even reading Tigers in the Mud gives better results here since it usually mentions how many tanks went off on a quest and if some didn't arrive at the scene Carius whines about it.

Overall I still think it might not be required since nobody seems to actively want to replicate CMBB breakdown rates in CMx2.

Sovies actually made a number of studies about this stuff, but i have none at hand at the moment. i do remember that in 1941 some of the mech corps suffered around 50% losses for every 100 km they travelled. it was largely because of total SNAFUs like simply running out of fuel, though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

URC,

But immobilized could still be fit for duty the same day. OK, got stuck in the mud, pulled out, and made the rendezvous point the same day. Report says I am available, but how many were just yanked out?

In CMBB, immobilized could be broken or stuck. Could be as simple as a thrown track, where the crew repairs and is available in a couple hours after the shooting dies down. In the reports it would have them ready to go for the next day, but we have no idea how many there were. I was hoping you found some good references to be proved wrong, but I would think it was so common that it wasn't mentioned.

Changes of subject, i remember reading someplace that a lot of the early war tanks losses on the Soviet side was due to transmission problems, as well as obviously lack of fuel. If I remember correctly, it was from a German Officer, so don't know how much weight that carries.

Rune

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But immobilized could still be fit for duty the same day. OK, got stuck in the mud, pulled out, and made the rendezvous point the same day. Report says I am available, but how many were just yanked out?

In CMBB, immobilized could be broken or stuck. Could be as simple as a thrown track, where the crew repairs and is available in a couple hours after the shooting dies down. In the reports it would have them ready to go for the next day, but we have no idea how many there were. I was hoping you found some good references to be proved wrong, but I would think it was so common that it wasn't mentioned.

i understand the point and as such, with no numbers given, i agree about it.

i just think that the numbers available are too far apart. if getting temporarily stuck or broken would be that frequent i find it hard to see how an entire tank army could travel 200 km in 24 hours with just ~3% losses.

on the other hand vehicles like King Tigers should bog and break down easily, especially in bad conditions. it's not hard to encounter reports with stuff like 75% Tiger II losses after 50km road march.

Changes of subject, i remember reading someplace that a lot of the early war tanks losses on the Soviet side was due to transmission problems, as well as obviously lack of fuel. If I remember correctly, it was from a German Officer, so don't know how much weight that carries.

there are Soviet studies about it. in practice tank units had to voluntarily abandon vehicles because there was in practice no logistical tail. no supply for a week makes a bad tank/mech corps.

anyway, i think those who oppose immobilizations don't care about wether it is realistic or not -- they just don't want it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

URC,

As much as it pains me to say that in public, I have to say that Rune is absolutely correct. :) The numbers you cited are absolutely useless because they don't have anything to do with bogging and immobilizations. Let me remind you again of what each are in game terms:

1. Bogging - vehicle is stuck for a period of time but is able to get itself mobile again. If this happens at the wrong time or in the wrong place it can become a tactical problem.

2. Immobilization - when not caused by combat activity it represents a serious enough problem that for the timeframe of a single scenario the vehicle is effectively unable to move.

The first category would NEVER be reported in any sort of comprehensive report. At most it might be mentioned at a very low level memoir. And they often are. But who the Hell cares about how many vehicles out of hundreds were stuck for a couple of minutes or even a half hour? It's absolutely not relevant and it's not going to be found anywhere other than anecdotal notations.

The second category is only going to be noted if the vehicle is out of service for at least a day, perhaps not even that. For a situation like that the vehicle would have to experience a very serious mechanical problem, such as a blown transmission, or experience a critical breakdown which can't be repaired right away due to lack of spare parts. All the other things, such as a broken track, busted road wheel, broken part that is easily fixed (like a U-joint or oil seal), would all be fixed quickly enough that they wouldn't be noted. Probably fixed in the field right where the vehicle is. And of course any vehicle that got stuck bad enough that it had to be extracted by recovery vehicles (or other same type vehicles) would also not be noted at all because we're talking about being out of action for a few hours.

Again, the VAST MAJORITY of bogging and immobilizations in CM would never, ever, in a billion years create a blip on some sort of large statistical analysis. Therefore when looking at those big studies the statistics basically show nothing useful for this discussion. The only thing it does show, at best, is how many vehicles broke down and couldn't be repaired within 24 hours (or whatever the reporting criteria is for that nation at that time).

Looking at Iraq, I read a report a few years ago which had the Strykers at a readiness rate of about 95% daily average. That means for every 100 vehicles under their command 5 of them were not serviceable for some reason or another. This was quite a bit higher than the average for the rest of the US Army at the time. In fact, I just saw a report that MRAPs (the new mine resistant vehicles) have an average readiness rate of 80%.

It was recently reported that one in five MRAPs in Iraq were out of service (which correlates to an 80% readiness rate) primarily due to a lack of repair parts.23 The Pentagon has disputed this claim and maintains that its operational readiness rate for MRAPs in Iraq is almost 92%.24 Sufficient repair parts may also be a readiness concern in Iraq and Afghanistan, as DOD admits it is trying to "catch up" in terms of MRAP repair parts. In the past, shortages of heavy duty transmissions, engines, axles, and tires have been cited as MRAP readiness issues.

http://wikileaks.org.uk/leak/crs/RS22707.txt

Whether it is 1 in 5 vehicles not running or 1 in 10, that's rather big numbers when you're talking about thousands of vehicles. And this is a very stable environment with relatively short patrol routes with very little off road movement and even fairly light combat.

Now, how many of those vehicles aren't in service simply because of routine mechanical breakdowns vs. vehicles out of service for problems which resulted directly from driving? I don't know, but my experience with vehicles is that they are usually tied together as cause and effect. See my previous link to the video of Canadians in Afghanistan. A LAV broke a critical part for steering one of its wheels while crossing a muddy area and stream. Is that vehicle listed as being out of service for mechanical reasons? I bet it is because the reason it is out of service is a broken part, even if the cause of it was stress caused by terrain.

Again, it comes down to people believing what they want to believe for whatever reasons. There's not going to be much data out there to back up either side in a head to head discussion.

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another article where the official US Army readiness rate goal is stated to be 90%:

http://www.army.mil/-news/2009/04/08/19390-unsung-heroes-keep-soldiers-moving-in-iraq/

From the above link:

"It takes time, but in a week we find fifty non-mission capable faults that are repaired on the spot, and that saves many of hours in repairs and even more time away from the line," Morrow said. "Finding these faults prevents greater damage and bigger repairs. If a half-shaft bolt breaks, the brakes can become useless; If a generator bolt snaps, we lose a $3,000 generator. But most importantly it prevents the breakdown on the road."

When you look at the conditions in WW2 you're looking at situations where there isn't someone trying to find that bolt which is about to break. Instead, it breaks when it breaks. The manpower and opportunity for preventative maintenance simply wasn't there.

I have a detailed report on Tiger Battalions I'll look up and see what it has to say. But at times the readiness rate was sometimes in the single digits.

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah! I found it. Two quick tidbits:

If a vehicle did break down, was damaged in combat, or became stuck, it’s weight

and the lack of an adequate armored recovery vehicle created a challenge in maintaining

a high operational rate. Generally, recovering a Tiger in the forward areas required

towing it with at least one other Tiger, although this was officially forbidden. The

workshop company did have eighteen-ton half-track tractors, but two of these were

required to tow one Tiger.68 Additionally, if being towed over hilly terrain, a trail vehicle

at least as large as a Panzer III was required to stabilize the Tiger so it did not become

unmanageable.69 Beginning in 1944, heavy tank battalions started to receive some

armored recovery vehicles, the Bergpanther, in addition to keeping the eighteen-ton half-

track tractors. The difficulties in recovering a damaged Tiger in combat usually resulted

in it being abandoned and destroyed by its crew.

As most heavy tank battalions did, this unit suffered from inadequate recovery

assets and a low operational readiness rate of Tigers. The unit never had more than four

operational Tigers at the same time during this entire period.11 Three of the six Tigers

lost were destroyed by their own crews; two of them after they had become stuck in the

“peat-bog” and one because of mechanical failure.12 This may have been a result of the

poor terrain, but sufficient recovery assets might have compensated for some of the

losses. The unit’s diary is filled with entries about pulling out “bogged” Tigers and there

is one instance where the recovery took three days.13

55

Despite the great efforts of the recovery elements, this battalion still suffered from

a low operational readiness rate of its Tigers. On average, the battalion only maintained

around 35 percent of its Tigers operational.68 Probably one of the main reasons for

Tigers being in need of repair, was from damage due to enemy fire. Another reason may

have been the great distances that it was tasked to cover. In one instance, the 2d

company conducted a 107 kilometer roadmarch in ten and a half hours.69 This unit did

not lose any vehicles to maintenance breakdowns during the roadmarch, however,

probably because the company commander ordered a maintenance halt every twenty

kilometers.70

Now, I know this is stuff having to do with one of the more complicated vehicles to keep going, but it's also one of the most documented vehicles in WW2. And from the German's perspective at the time, these units got more resources and attention than the average armored unit.

Again, I'm not saying that we've pegged bogging exactly correct (there's no way to verify or challenge that), rather I'm simply saying that too many people in these discussions appear to have an unrealistically high expectation for vehicles avoiding problems.

Source:

SWINGING THE SLEDGEHAMMER: THE COMBAT EFFECTIVENESS OF

GERMAN HEAVY TANK BATTALIONS IN WORLD WAR II

A thesis presented to the Faculty of the U.S. Army

Command and General Staff College in partial

fulfillment of the requirements for the

degree

MASTER OF MILITARY ART AND SCIENCE

Military History

by

CHRISTOPHER W. WILBECK, MAJ, AR

B.S., University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1989

M.B.A., Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri, 2000

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BFC (and Kwazydog) said:

...how many times have you had a vehicle bog on a dry road surface? How many vehicles have you driven down a dry road surface over the years you've been playing CM? I'd be surprised if it is more than a fraction of a percentage.

That’s true.

Kwazydog also wrote:

I like the fact that I have to think twice before sending a Tiger across soft grasslands in the rain.

Yes, I said that. I just hate having to think twice about moving my T-34 anywhere. Especially if I only have one of them.

My point is, oh, I’ve already made my point.

Redwolf:

Also, things get more complicated when you have two players as both would have to agree on a set of switches.

Hm. People agree before they play. Just like any other set of parameters. Which they do. No problem.

Yair Iny

…iumpteen places in the code that deal with bogging…

It should be one place. I bet it is. A subroutine referenced every time a vehicle enters a new cell.

It’s just four lines of code. (Not counting the interface, which, yes, should take less time than I have spent bleating here).

Do you think they don't do "toggles" out of the meanness of their hearts, that it's only 4 lines of code but they are just being spiteful or dogmatic? really dude...

Well I kinda do. All the best games have toggles. It’s part of what makes them the best. Because they’re easy to put in.

Value “x” – you toggle it. Four lines. I explained how, previously.

flamingknives

Equally, I am amazed that people feel that there is a difference.

Interesting psychological difference then. I see (no, I feel) (as I’ve said twice), there’s a difference between something you must do, ie, move, and enemy action. You don’t. Well, ok.

I’d just like to re-state that the actual probabilities of immobilisation have no bearing on my thread. It’s irrelevant (but I’ve said that already)

Well, I can see that from my perspective this is going nowhere. I did my best strategic nagging, and it made no impact. I’m immobilised.

(At least I haven't been called insane, yet)

ps, BFC; Please include a “ditch” terrain element in Normandy. (All the better to be immobilised by)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BFC (and Kwazydog)

My point is, oh, I’ve already made my point.

Your point is that you want a button to turn it off becuase personally it ruins your gaming experience, correct? If so then yes......we get that, the concept is not that complicated. Actually there are a lot of options Id probably like too in a perfect world.

The problem is that although your solution sounds simple there are many reasons why it isnt, several of which have been noted in this thread (not including the fact that your estimate of 4 lines of code is innacurate). If you combine these problems with the fact that most people dont consider this an issue at all, hopefully you can understand why currently such an option isnt a high priority.

Dan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve,

like said, i do understand that point and personally would like to see more bogging and immobilizations in CM what comes to bad terrain conditions.

i disagree about higher level reports or diary entires being meaningless though.

first, the whole scale of difference is so huge that it's hard to see how the given explanation could account for it. i don't find it likely that there had been around 400 two hour CM level "immobilization" fixes for every single recovery & repair that took long enough to be seen in daily reports. rather, i believe it's physically impossible. even if a division sized armored unit would have only 10 tanks in repair for one day (ridiculously low number), it would mean that there had been 4000 quick two hour repairs. so a 100 tank division would have had each of the 90 not-in-daily-repair experience CM level 2 hour "immobilization" 44 times during the 24 hour period. this is somewhat problematic. :)

secondly (this is just academic, because the first point already proves the impossibility), many of the higher level stuff is about conditions where the units either physically can't or are ordered not to recover any vehicles that are "immobilized". yes, crews could still get some tanks running on their own, after a couple of hours of cursing, but it is a bit questionable explanation as when nobody is going to tow or pull them out or give them tools or spare parts i don't see what much they are going to accomplish during those extra two hours that they couldn't do during the first 30+ minutes. i can understand that they could fix something every now and then, but not repeatedly and systematically to the magnitude required by the difference in numbers. worse still, units often voluntarily cannibalized (to have spares) or abandoned (to have fuel & ammo last longer) vehicles in the name of greater good. still, such conditions lead only to around 0.5% attrition per km (including combat losses etc) at worst early war cases.

third, not all the reports are daily level statistical stuff. reports by smaller level units don't descibe the kind of "immobilization" levels as seen in CMBB tests (or at least I don't remember reading such). the worst i remember is the 80% of brand new Tiger IIs breaking down in minutes during a 50 km roadmarch. it may sound catastrophic (and it is of course), but if you do the math you see that it's better than T-34 performance in CMBB.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i believe those annoyed by immobilizations would be happy if it was made more rare in good terrain. to compensate for it you could make bogging more frequent and perhaps make immobs higher for bad terrain. as modifiers already apparently exist for different terrain and ground conditions it would not perhaps require coding new stuff, just tweaking of numbers that already exist?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...