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ToW 2 is a Sniper War?


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Playing for a few weeks now. Great graphics and sound even better then ToW 1. But the more I play the more it feels like a sniper war. Normal tactics seems to work limited. Just sneak you sniper around the field and you win 99% of the games. Snipers had no radio back to HQ or Arty in WW2. They sneaked only in only to get High Payoff targets. Sometimes they were gone for days without even seeing or speaking to their commanders.

Normal if I a 88mm fires at me he will have the advantage of 1 or 2 shots. After that I know his position (muzzle fire and smoke). At least the ppl who survived from with their tanks or groups wil spot him. They may not be able to fire back due the 88mm long range. But they know for 100% his position and see him. If I have the means like Arty of Air support he is toast. If not... I will have to make a plan to out flank him in combo with smoke/ suppression fire (even at long range possible).

Commanders from infantry, tanks and armoured vehicles have binoculars. They are able to spot also enemy fast when not digged in or well camouflaged. Somehow I have the feeling the only way to spot enemy is to move around my snipers.

ortonab1.jpg

Question is ToW 2 a Sniper war or did I missed something?

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All units have realistic FOV. Snipers switch between their scope and eye view, commanders between binoculars and eye view. Vehicles have historical aiming sights and can spot target from far away (if it is inside gunsight field of view, usually it is very narrow).

All sighting devices on the vehicle are modeled. For example, see this short article. It's in Russian, but pictures are self-explanatory.

http://artofwar.games.1c.ru/page.php?id=48

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All units have realistic FOV. Snipers switch between their scope and eye view, commanders between binoculars and eye view. Vehicles have historical aiming sights and can spot target from far away (if it is inside gunsight field of view, usually it is very narrow).

All sighting devices on the vehicle are modeled. For example, see this short article. It's in Russian, but pictures are self-explanatory.

http://artofwar.games.1c.ru/page.php?id=48

No discussion about the professional work you guys did. If your intension is to make it 100% realistic than you succeed. But if your intension is to make it 100% realistic and the game should be more than a 1 day fly I hope this post will trigger you to take a look at the game to prevent i.e. the Sniper war.

So no hard feelings here. I would like to play ToW series even when CM-2 Normandy hits the market. At this stage ToW-2 fills the gap between CM-X1- and CM-X2. Again I would love to play ToW-2 for a long time. You guys made a huge improvement in playability compared with ToW and I hope this improvement line will continue.

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All units have realistic FOV. Snipers switch between their scope and eye view, commanders between binoculars and eye view. Vehicles have historical aiming sights and can spot target from far away (if it is inside gunsight field of view, usually it is very narrow).

All sighting devices on the vehicle are modeled. For example, see this short article.

The Sherman's telescopic gun sight was far inferior to German gun sights, particularly the optical gun sight of the Panzer IV Ausführung F. The Pz IV gun sight (TZF 5f) featured high-power telescopic sights with 2.5x magnification, while the 75mm Shermans featured inferior periscopic sights (M39A2 gun sights) providing 1.8x magnification only.

The Panzer IV's hull machine gun optics (KZF 2) had 1.8x magnification and 18° FOV, the TZF 5f had a FOV of 25 degrees.

Even the M39A2 telescopic optics employed in the 76mm Shermans (starting with the prototypes from 1943) had a FOV of 13° degrees ONLY, a major disadvantage, although they then featured 5x magnification.

http://www.panzerworld.net/optics.html

http://www.simcentrum.com/uploads/USTank-optics.pdf

Let me quote G. Green from the book "Panzers at War", page 60:

Quote from "Panzers at War", by G. Green, page 60

"German optical sights were far superior to anything the Western Allies or the Red Army mounted on their tanks during World War II.

Tom Sator, an M4 Sherman medium tank crewman who served in the U.S. Army's 4th Armored Division in Western Europe from late 1944 through the end of the war, remembers his first chance to look through the gunner's sight on a Pz.Kpfw.IV with the long 75mm gun tube:

There was always a lot of talk about the effectiveness of the German tank guns against us. It is true that they had to stop to fire, but they started firing from 1,200 to 1,500 yards (1,096 to 1,371 meters). Their first shot was always a hit. We, on the other hand, had to get within 500 to 600 yards (457 to 548 meters) to be within effective firing distance, and even our best gunners needed at least two shots before they could score a hit.

Our CO (commanding officer), Captain Jimmy Leach, sent the platoon sergeant down to my tank during one of the lulls between German artillery barrages, and he hollered up, 'Hey Sator, you speak German?' 'Yeah, why?' I answered. 'The radio in that abandoned German tank (Pz.Kpfw.IV) back there is alive. Captain wants you to listen and see what they are talking about'. So, I went with him. Sure enough, when we got there, you could hear the radio squawking. I climbed in and put the gunner's earphones on. It was difficult to hear, and because the guy was talking in a strange dialect, I could understand only a few words here and there. Then I saw the gun-sight and I figured I might as well look through it while I was there, and as soon as I did, almost immediately, the realization came to me why the German tank gunners were so accurate. 'Shyte, I wanna go home' is the only thing I could think of at the moment. Their sights were so far superior to ours that we didn't stand a chance."

Another quote, from "M4 (76mm) Sherman Medium Tank 1943 - 65" by Steven J. Zaloga, page 6, discussing the shortcomings of the earlier versions of the M4 (with the 75mm gun), particularly the periscopic gun sights in the early versions (M39A2 i guess):

"The fighting in North Africa revealed the inadequacy of periscopic sights for gun aiming, and both US and British officers recommended following the German example and shifting to a high-power telescopic sight. As a result, the M1 gun was mounted on the modified M34A1 combination gun mount with a new telescopic sight."

So, I don't think Allied tanks should be able to "snipe" like they actually do in the game. I don't think that the effects of this historical disadvantage are present in the game, currently.

Also, the accuracy of infantry small arms and MGs is way too high (thus too lethal), keeping in mind at what distances soldiers, who are running, get killed (up to 700 meters - German MG and rifle fire coming from the town in the American scenario that had been featured in the demo).

The effective range of the MG 42:

  • 800 meters IF a bipod was used (prone position) and
  • 3000 - 3500 meters if mounted on a tripod

The MG 42's mobile version (bipod) could be fired from the hip, but there were very few units which were able (and trained) to use the MG like that, as this gun was more heavy than the MG34, and it fired at a way higher RPM rate. Units which were trained to use the MG like that carried special designations, and the mobile version was mostly used by Panzergrenadier units. I doubt that a soldier could hit something above let's say 300-350 meters when firing from the hip.

The effective range of MPs (MP40) where the soldier could hope to hit something was like 200 meters, and there are many sources indicating that the American Thompson Sub Machine Gun and the M3 "Grease Gun" both had an effective range of 50 meters only. Only the American BAR rifle had a way better range, which I wouldn't consider to be a MP, though: It had an effective range of 550 meters, solely due to its powerful cartridge, but a soldier using that gun could hardly control the gun at sustained rate of fire, it was mainly used to provide fire suppression, or to fire single shots at targets above 300-400 meters.

Even today's high performance assault rifles (i.e. the German Heckler & Koch G36) have an effective range of around 500 meters only (the M16 has a range of around 400-500 meters).

The common distance for rifles was way below 400 meters, although the effective range of let's say the German Mauser 98k was 600 meters.

Even German rifle ammunition had been changed/adjusted as initially the cartridges provided for medium range but not for stopping power.

The German ordnance office concluded that engagements (using rifles) above a certain range (200-300 yards?) were less likely to happen or less effective, so they ordered to change the cartridges - being able to save resources and reduce waste of ammo that way.

There was an interesting thread somewhere about rifle ammunition, here at Battlefront, IIRC.

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In the game, Sherman gunner uses telescopic M70F and periscopic M38 sights, switching between them.

On page 10 Zaloga says that telescopic sight was 'introduced and fielded in 1943'. If you think that Shermans in the game shouldn't have it, you can mod it by editing one string in parts.ini file of the unit (after unpacking data.sfs).

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Even the M39A2 telescopic optics employed in the 76mm Shermans (starting with the prototypes from 1943) had a FOV of 13° degrees ONLY, a major disadvantage, although they then featured 5x magnification.

Typo, I meant to say M71D telescopic optics (76 mm Shermans), as opposed to the periscopic M39A2 optics employed in the early (75mm) Shermans employed in North Africa. Early Tiger tanks had the binocular TZF 9b telescopic sight, which provided 2.5x magnification, 25° FOV and a LOV ("line of vision") of 436 meters to 1000 meters distance. The Panther then featured both 2.5x AND 5x magnification, where 2.5x provided a wider FOV, used to watch the battlefield.

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Well, I'm tired so shyte (typo) happens. Yeah, I meant periscopic M38, but the M39 is the illuminator for the 38, so I mixed up numbers. The M39A2 sight was only used in US heavy tanks.

In the game, Sherman gunner uses telescopic M70F and periscopic M38 sights, switching between them.

Well, Zaloga isn't very specific there, and I doubt that a new gun sight development for US tanks, which had landed in North Africa in November 1942, was put in as upgrade in the field, as optics were usually only replaced when the tanks in question were handed back to ordnance depots, as this wasn't a job that could be done in the field, especially since the US troops even lacked the infrastructure to support a large operation. Also, the campaign was basically already won in March 1943, when Rommel left the theater, since the Germans didn't have many assets left they could use against the Allies, until they surrendered on the 15th of May, so I doubt that the upgrade was seen as priority on that theater, nor do I believe that the M70 made it to Africa in substantial numbers (if at all).

If you think that Shermans in the game shouldn't have it, you can mod it by editing one string in parts.ini file of the unit (after unpacking data.sfs).
Well, I was rather asking whether historical facts are depicted in the game or not.

Even If we'd assume that M70 optics made it to the theater, US optics were really inferior, crews often complained about blurred views. So my question is whether US Shermans are way less accurate than the German counterparts or not. Since you read Zaloga, you will know that Sherman gun sights had ballistic reticles where the gunner had to estimate the range. German gunners had rather accurate range finders in their sights.

The reason for the ALLIED optics being inferior was that the more lenses (that had been produced in the old fashioned way) they put into a telescope (to receive a higher magnification), the more clarity got lost (10% with each lense). I've read that a 40% loss of clarity definetly impacts usability, so a US 4-lenses-system wouldn't have been too helpful for a tank gunner. The Germans, in turn, were using 4-lenses in their systems without any problems.

Also: the more lenses the more restricted the field of view (12° FOV for many US gun optics only, while German optics had 25°).

So, if you look at the numbers, generally, German tanks in Africa had better magnification, the same or even better clarity, and twice the field of view compared to Allied systems.

Zeiss used a special technique developed in 1938 which involved an Argon gas coating over the lenses, reducing the loss (of clarity) per lense to 3-4%, which allowed for the production of sighting systems with 4 lenses and more, while maintaining the clarity of a Western gun sight that carried 1 or 2 lenses only. The Germans transferred that technology to Japan (during or at the end of the war in Europe), and you might know that Japan produced excellent lenses for cameras after the war, as they were then using that knowledge too. The Allies didn't know about that production method until after the war.

So, is that particular German superiority depicted in the game?

Means, are Allied tanks less accurate at medium/long ranges or not?

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I don't quite understand what do you mean by range-finders in German gun sights. The principle of aiming using American or German aiming sight is essentially the same - gunner estimated range to target judging by it's angular size using ballistic reticles, the only difference between countries was implementation of this method.

Compare Zeiss sight field of view:

Zeis1.jpg

http://www.wwiionline.ru/forumwwii/viewtopic.php?p=3746&sid=e760b9aeb076b3c8f6c534fa832329a5#3746

with M70F:

bovgtafvtpage5051.th.jpg

In the game all sights have historical FOV and magnification (in case of clear weather, weather conditions affect visibility). Subjective 'quality' differenicies are not taken into account since they are not measurable and in fact questionable (we could make all non-German sights 1.5 or so times worse but this would be wrong).

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Sneaksie

What lines in the parts.ini affect visibility?

do you mean these?

(for Sherman shooter)

VisSector0 Vshooter_0 -6 6 3

VisSector1 Vshooter_1 -4.5 4.5 1.44

If so, what do the three numbers represent?

Thanks

Oudy

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I don't quite understand what do you mean by range-finders in German gun sights. The principle of aiming using American or German aiming sight is essentially the same - gunner estimated range to target judging by it's angular size using ballistic reticles, the only difference between countries was implementation of this method.

Yes and no.

Here's the complete reticle of a Tiger I, taken from the official "Tigerfibel" approved by Guderian:

66.jpg

The tank commander and the gunner could actually measure the distance to the target (if they had the time), using both the triangles in the middle and the range chart on the outer ring. Well, it's not exactly like measuring the distance with a laser ;), but it's way faster and more accurate than the aiming aid in the M70. This explains why first shots used to hit (according to the veteran account in Green's book) even at ranges between 1000-1300 meters. You might get an idea why, if you look at the Tiger reticle printed in the original manual.

The M70 didn't provide a chart like that.

Driver and MG gunner in the Tiger could help to evaluate the distance, but they had to estimate. In fact, the manual (which is written like a comic book, with using rhymes and funny examples, to get the readers' attention and to make it easier to remember) suggests that in hectic combat situations all the crew members who are using sights (commander, gunner, MG gunner, driver) should help to estimate/compute the distance - in case that there's no time to measure, using their own sights, with the tank commander choosing a reasonable value in the "middle" of all proposed distances. But in general, it's wasn't like the commander/gunner used to rely on estimations. The gunner set his "Visier" to the distance announced/decided by the commander and just had to pull the trigger.

The manual also recommends to measure the distance to the target whenever possible, or - alternatively - to wait until the target is at 800 meters, in order not to reveal the tank's position with inaccurate fire.

The M70F reticle is a pretty primitive form of reticle, where the gunner often had to correct his aim using 2 or 3 rounds before he could score a hit, at medium/long range.

In the game all sights have historical FOV and magnification (in case of clear weather, weather conditions affect visibility). Subjective 'quality' differenicies are not taken into account since they are not measurable and in fact questionable (we could make all non-German sights 1.5 or so times worse but this would be wrong).

I understand, that sounds reasonable at first glance, but the US had several technical disadvantages, not only because of lack of penetration power/muzzle velocity of their guns, but because of their inferior optics, too, which provided less clarity at higher magnification levels (i.e. M71D - 5x , or M70 3x) - they were somewhat blurry. These are physics, and not just "subjective quality differences" - means VITAL physical/technical disadvantages on the US side.

Zaloga stresses that the Sherman's optics were by far inferior, in that same book, although they provided a halfway usable maximum view distance of around 1000 meters.

The Allies did not have the German optics technology, and this should have an impact on the accuracy of the first rounds fired in the game, or even have a general impact on all long range shots. No?

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Posted by Sneaksie

Subjective 'quality' differenicies are not taken into account since they are not measurable and in fact questionable

I'd like to emphasize the fact that the Germans used an Argon gas coating for their lenses, which reduced the blur (that increased with each lense added) to around 3-4%, a great technological achievement compared to the 10% blur per lense in the US optics. So we're not just talking about quality differences (which could be ignored), but about a substantial technological advantage on the German side.

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Sneaksie

What lines in the parts.ini affect visibility?

do you mean these?

(for Sherman shooter)

VisSector0 Vshooter_0 -6 6 3

VisSector1 Vshooter_1 -4.5 4.5 1.44

If so, what do the three numbers represent?

Thanks

Oudy

Hi,

VisSector0 -/name of the first sectors of visibility/

Vshooter_0 -/the name of the hook trace visibility/

-6 6 -/angular size of sector visibility of the axis of the hook left and right/

3 -/magnification/

P.S. Sorry for my english, Google translation :).

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Power in numbers.

Exactly. The only chance for Allied tanks (in 1943, and for Shermans in 1944/45) was to get to a Panther's or Tiger's side, or to get as close as 500 meters or even closer. Well, a tough task, given the range of these German tanks.

Shermans and T-34s were fast though. So it was about speed and numbers.

@Sneaksie: Btw, the reticle you posted is taken from a "fire chart" created for the game "Battlegrounds Europe", which contains a complete fire chart for British tanks.

This is the original, check it out:

http://wwiionline.net/downloads.php?view=detail&id=8&sid=eb14dd3a17da6a6004d5b65eda9e4bba

This kind of chart enabled crews who were still in training to look up, learn + memorize how many "Striche" (German for dashes) in the telescope (when measuring the enemy vehicle) would refer to a certain length/height/width of a given vehicle in the chart, where they then just had to collect the distance from the chart, or - even easier - they measured with the chart in the reticle (if avalaible).

Example from the game's fire chart: A Crusader III with a length of 8 Striche (dashes) would be 790 meters away from the observer. The gunner then chose a "Visier" above 790 meters, in order to take the ballistic trajectory into account (above 790m to below 900 meters would guarantee a hit, in the game chart).

You can also see that the maker of that chart included tank pictures showing spots where hits would be effective (green: knockout, yellow: gun disabled/gunner disabled, red: immobilized).

German charts mostly just contained the numbers, afaik.

The tiger manual lists the following charts/items, pointing out that it can be found in each Tiger's "Deckeltasche", a bag with charts, manuals and other papers, inside of the tank:

92.jpg

  • 1. Tank identification chart Russia (for the Russian theater)
  • 2. fire chart 8,8 KwK 36

  • 3. Antigötz for:
    T 34
    KW I
    Churchill III
    Lee
    Sherman

The Antigötz was a kind of quick chart the crew could easily remember. The Antigötz in the manual:

89.jpg

Antigötz for the T-34:

15 8 43

, with the manual stating that the T-34 shouldn't be approached on its front at ranges above 1000 meters (the manual stresses to avoid 10 o'clock to 2 'o clock approaches above that range), as the Tiger's shells wouldn't fully penetrate due to the T-34 sloped glacis.

This is what it meant: The first number, "15" was the "shamrock" indicator (explained on another page, indicating at what distances the T-34s could penetrate the Tiger. The Tiger's side and rear could be penetrated by the T-34 below 1500 meters (hence 15), the German tank commander just had to deduct 1000 meters to get the T-34's effective range for a shot at the Tiger's front (500 meters).

This number was important for tank commanders when they had to decide about facing or relocation of the tank.

"8" indicated that the T-34's front could be pentrated at 800 meters and below. The manual emphasizes that ALL type of enemy tanks can be pentrated on the side and rear at 2000 meters (the manual is from 1943).

"4" indicates that at 800 meters (a benchmark value) the T-34's front would be 4 dashes wide (in the reticle).

"3" dashes indicates that the T-34 will be 2000 meters away (if looking at its side), 1.5 dashes (at 2000 meter) if the Tiger sees the T-34's front only.

The minimum requirement for German Tiger crews (practicing on shooting ranges) was to hit the target with their 4th shot at distances from 1300 meters (1421 yards) to 2000 meters (2187 yards). The training of German tankers was complex, but the optics, the aiming aids, the charts, and the guns actually allowed for that high performance. There were tank commanders who had scored 38+ kills (T-34) within a day, scored with a Tiger.

This is the page of the manual explaining the use of the "Visier" to the gunner, showing procedures for long ranges:

77.jpg

Once the distance had been measured, or estimated, the gunner then had to pick a higher distance using his Visier, to compensate the ballistic trajectory. He could actually see the effect of choosing a particular visier, and at ranges above 2400 meters, he just added 400 meters after each shot.

The manual states that the Tiger on the following picture received 227 hits from AT-rifles, 14 hits from 52mm guns, and 11 hits from 76,2mmm guns (most likely T-34), without any of these rounds penetrating the Tiger. That particular Tiger also received several AT-gun hits on the track, and hit 3 mines. The tank's wheels were badly damaged, and 2 springs ceased working, but this particular vehicle still made 60 km on its own, even after this kind of "treatment".

Propaganda? Not sure ... , as there are some vet accounts that back it up:

Image5.jpg

German tanks could even fire when the gunner's telescope had been damaged/knocked out. The gunner just had to remove the gun's bolt, get a cord/string, and put it on the end of the tube, forming a temporary crosshair. They then just looked through the gun (acting as targeting device/reticle) and could then adjust the observation periscopes, in order to use them as auxiliary targeting device/solution, after a few test rounds had been fired.

The turret-MG could be adjusted in a similar way, which involved inserting an empty cartridge (with a hole in it, which was part of the spare-part bag of each tiger) into the gun, so that the gunner could look through the barrel (with bolt etc removed).

79.jpg

Ok, enough Tank school for today.

Taking everything into account, it's pretty obvious that Shermans had major disadvantages regarding target acquisition (optics - i.e. blur), targeting and range finding (reticle, gunner's sights), and firing (lower accuracy and low performance of the gun) when facing German tanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...
Well, I'm tired so shyte (typo) happens. Yeah, I meant periscopic M38, but the M39 is the illuminator for the 38, so I mixed up numbers. The M39A2 sight was only used in US heavy tanks.

Well, Zaloga isn't very specific there, and I doubt that a new gun sight development for US tanks, which had landed in North Africa in November 1942, was put in as upgrade in the field, as optics were usually only replaced when the tanks in question were handed back to ordnance depots, as this wasn't a job that could be done in the field, especially since the US troops even lacked the infrastructure to support a large operation. Also, the campaign was basically already won in March 1943, when Rommel left the theater, since the Germans didn't have many assets left they could use against the Allies, until they surrendered on the 15th of May, so I doubt that the upgrade was seen as priority on that theater, nor do I believe that the M70 made it to Africa in substantial numbers (if at all).

Well, I was rather asking whether historical facts are depicted in the game or not.

Even If we'd assume that M70 optics made it to the theater, US optics were really inferior, crews often complained about blurred views. So my question is whether US Shermans are way less accurate than the German counterparts or not. Since you read Zaloga, you will know that Sherman gun sights had ballistic reticles where the gunner had to estimate the range. German gunners had rather accurate range finders in their sights.

The reason for the ALLIED optics being inferior was that the more lenses (that had been produced in the old fashioned way) they put into a telescope (to receive a higher magnification), the more clarity got lost (10% with each lense). I've read that a 40% loss of clarity definetly impacts usability, so a US 4-lenses-system wouldn't have been too helpful for a tank gunner. The Germans, in turn, were using 4-lenses in their systems without any problems.

Also: the more lenses the more restricted the field of view (12° FOV for many US gun optics only, while German optics had 25°).

So, if you look at the numbers, generally, German tanks in Africa had better magnification, the same or even better clarity, and twice the field of view compared to Allied systems.

Zeiss used a special technique developed in 1938 which involved an Argon gas coating over the lenses, reducing the loss (of clarity) per lense to 3-4%, which allowed for the production of sighting systems with 4 lenses and more, while maintaining the clarity of a Western gun sight that carried 1 or 2 lenses only. The Germans transferred that technology to Japan (during or at the end of the war in Europe), and you might know that Japan produced excellent lenses for cameras after the war, as they were then using that knowledge too. The Allies didn't know about that production method until after the war.

So, is that particular German superiority depicted in the game?

Means, are Allied tanks less accurate at medium/long ranges or not?

Completely Nonesense.

In WWII, German used MGF2, and allied used CaF2 to reduce reflection, both were single coating, AFTER WWII,a Swiss company developed PRACTICAL multi-coating lense.

Do you know the famous US film <<Gone with the wind>> in 1939?

They were coating anti-reflection films for ‘Gone With the Wind,’ for their projection lenses.

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http://www2.avs.org/historybook/links/tfexh96.htm

SINGLE LAYERS

1935 Zeiss (Smakula), German Patent No.605761 claimed on 1/11/1935 vapor

deposition of CaF2;

1936 Strong CaF2 and formula nfilm=nsubstrate0.5 specified. Article submitted 25/9/1935: The reflection will be reduced using this layer from 4.2% to 0.6%;

1938 Cartwright and Turner published a whole class of usable materials including MgF2 and Cryolite;

The vapor deposition of MgF2 on hot glass surfaces is still state-of-the-art today. This procedure was unknown in Germany during the last war. Therefore they primarily used Cryolite which lowers the reflection, but is not as hard.

DOUBLE LAYERS

For a single layer, one only has a few choices of materials. With a double layer, there are more choices using high and low reflective indexes. The three reflections at the three interfaces can always add to zero by varying film thicknesses. This is true for at least one wavelength. The milestone developments were:

1938 Research Corporation, New York announced without mentioning any inventor, the principal of solving the three vector calculations and mentioned materials

that can be used (Swiss Patent No.221992, issued June 30, 1942);

1939 Cartwright and Turner - a short publication, describing the principle of using Al2O3/SiO2, which was not practical;

1940- 1941

Zeiss (Smakula) and Schott (Geffcken) and Steinkeil (Schneider) experimented

with double and triple layers; double layers never got into production in

Germany or the U.S.;

1949 Balzers (Auwaerter) introduced the double layer "Transmar" (MgF2 plus rare earth oxide) and for many years had a leading position with this method.

Further developments are well known. Today large volumes of anti-reflection coatings up to six layers are produced. Not only optical instruments but consumer goods like binoculars and cameras use anti-reflection coatings (modern camera lenses have the label “Imulti-coated”).

The biggest use (in dollar value) of thin films from 1950 to 1970 was certainly anti-reflection coatings.

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  • 2 weeks later...

1940- 1941

Zeiss (Smakula) and Schott (Geffcken) and Steinkeil (Schneider) experimented

with double and triple layers; double layers never got into production in

Germany or the U.S.;

Today large volumes of anti-reflection coatings up to six layers are produced. Not only optical instruments but consumer goods like binoculars and cameras use anti-reflection coatings (modern camera lenses have the label “Imulti-coated”).

The biggest use (in dollar value) of thin films from 1950 to 1970 was certainly anti-reflection coatings.

And what's the purpose for using anti-reflection techniques in military applications, in particular targeting optics in heavy guns (e.g. flak 88) and tanks (e.g. TZF)? Reducing reflections????

It's the light-gathering ability of such (anti-reflection) coatings. You seem to think that the coatings just had the function to reduce reflections. In fact, the coatings provide for more clarity and allow more rays of light to pass through a lense (or a set of lenses, which you need for higher magnification levels).

I think you're wrong regarding number of layers used in German equipment, and regarding MgG2 use.

In turn, a few years ago, when I read about German vacuum technologies employed in optical devices, it seems that I interpreted/translated the shortcut "AR" as the chemical element Argon, a gas that is used in rifle scopes, for example. I'm not a physicist, so I thought Argon was used, after browsing articles and books covering this topic a few years ago. Most of the material is available in English, only.

So, I just rechecked articles and books, and I learned that "AR" coating was referring to "antireflection" coating, not argon coating.

Now, let's talk about your claims:

There are even eye-wittness accounts (Allied veterans, I quoted one account on the first page of this thread, G.Green , Panzers at War", page 60) which testify that German optics were on a different level than let's say the ones in Sherman tanks. A similar or even better magnification level in US tanks didn't necessarily provide a superior level of clarity, even worse, it added a higher percentage of blur with each additional lense employed, unlike in the German optics which used different (or better) coatings and different pre-processing of the lenses.

Let me quote the following work:

(beware, it gets technical)

ORIGINAL : "The foundation of vacuum coating technology" by D. M. Mattox , 2003

page 21 ff.

"In 1817 Fraunhofer noted that optical lenses improved with age due to the formation of a surface film. Following this discovery many investigators artifially aged lenses to form antireflection (AR) coatings. For example, in 1904 H. D. Taylor patented (British) an acid treatment of a glass surface in order to lower the index of refraction and the reflectivity by producing a porous surface. In 1933 A.H. Pfund vacuum-deposited the first single-layer (AR) coating (ZnS) while reporting on making beam-splitters [152] and Bauer mentioned AR coatings in his work on the properties of alkali halides [153]. In 1935, based on Bauer's observation, A Smakula of the Zeiss Company developed and patented AR coatings on camera lenses [154].

The patent was immediately classified as a military secret and not revealed until 1940 (E-18). In 1936 Strong reported depositing AR coatings on glass. In 1939 Cartwright and Turner deposited the first two-layer AR coatings. Monarch Cutler seems to be the first person to calculate the effect of multilayer coatings on optical properties. He did this as a Master's Degree thesis project. This work preceded the work of Cartwright and Turner, and, though unpublished, possibly inspired their efforts. One of the first major uses of coated lenses was on the projection lenses for the movie "Gone With the Wind", which opened in December 1939 (S. Peterson of Bausch & Lomb Optical Co.)[158].

The AR coated lenses gained importance in WWII for their light-gathering ability in such instruments as rangefinders and the Norden bombsights [159]."

During WWII, baking of MgF2 films to increase their durability was developed by D.A. Lyon of the U.S. Naval Gun Factory [160]. The baking step required that the lens makers coat the lens elements prior to assembly into compound lenses. In 1943 (Oct.) the U.S. Army (The Optical Instrument Committee, Frankfort Arsenal) sponsored a conference on "Application of Metallic Fluoride Reflection Reducing Films to Optical Elements".

During the African campaign the shortcomings of the US tanks' optics had alarmed US officials, so - as a result - the US put quite some effort into overcoming what I would call "optics-crisis". Later in the war, Sherman tank optics were somewhat better, but still did not match the quality of most (if not all) of the German optics.

"The conference had about 132 attendees. The proceedings of this conference (112 pages) is probably the first extensive publication on coating optical elements. [161]. O.S. Heavens published his classic work, "Optical Properties of Thin Solid Films" (Butterworth Scientific Publications), in 1955.

The US Army obviously knew that at least proper coating appeared to be vital for getting improved optics, thus they sponsored the conference. Pre-processing the lenses (which the Germans did it seems) may have been vital too, but I don't know if that had been part of the Committee's evaluation, too. The question is what the particular findings of this conference were, and when (and how) that showed on actual production models of tank optics. Afaik, even until 1944/45, US tank optics remained inferior, despite the introduction of optics with way higher magnifications. The Russians, in turn, tried to copy the German optics, and at least the ones employed in IS-2 tanks were really good (astounding max range).

The Germans deposited CaF2 (calcium fluoride) and MgF2 AR coatings during WWII [162]. Plasma cleaning of glass surfaces is reported to been used by Bauer at the Zeiss Company in 1934 [162]. The Schott Company (Germany) was also reported to have THREE-LAYER AR coatings by flame-pyrolosyis CVD during WWII [162].

Vacuum evaporation of metals (Cd and Zn) on paper web for paper-foil capacitors was begun in about 1935 by R. Bosch of the Bosch Company of Germany, who discovered that there was a "self-healing" effect when there was an arc between the low-melting-point thin film electrode materials [163]. By 1937 the Germans had demonstrated that the use of a "nucleating layer" increased adhesion of zinc to a paper surface [164]. The effect of nucleating on film formation had been noted by Langmuir as early as 1917 [165].

In 1958 the U.S. military formally approved the use of "vacuum cadmium plating" (VacCad) for application as corrosion protection on high-strength steel to avoid hydrogen embrittlement associated with electroplated cadmium [166]. In recent years PVC processing has been used to replace electroplating in a number of applications to avoid the water pollution associated with electroplating."

The footnotes in Mattox' work:

" (E-18): After WWII the japanese camera makers (Canon and Nikon) infringed on many German camera patents. When the Germans complained, the Allied Control Commission for both Germany and Japan took no action. This allowed the Japanese to rapidly build up their camera industry to the dismay of the Germans. (Information from "Post War Camera & Lens Design Thievery" by Marc James Small). As far as the author can tell the Japanese did not use coated optics during WWII.

The Japanese got all infos regarding coating and lense technologies, along with blueprints of military applications and weapons shortly before Germany was forced out of the war. Some tech-transfer attempts (like a disassembled Me 262 + blueprints aboard a submarine) either did not make it to Japan, or took several attempts (even with rumors about an alledged long-range flight of the only famed German long-range bomber using the route over Syberia). Whatsoever, the Japanese became the leaders in the camera sector by using the German technologies as foundation, although Canon and Nikon did not own the camera (and lense) patents.

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Getting back to the 'sniper war' comment, there seems to be some merit in that claim.

The chances of hitting a target involve a lot more than the quality of gunsights, consider personal ability, stress, haste, weather conditions such as heat and wind, ground conditions such as dust, heat haze and mirage type waves, gun barrel wear and distortion and so on, many factors all with the potential to contribute to a miss.

Then there are the combat studies which show that the amount of ammunition expended for one kill is quite remarkable and that a significant number of small arms shots fired are not aimed at all. Forget the names of the studies but they are out there.

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I believe i posted this link quite some time ago, but it pertains directly to this discussion, so I will resubmit for others consideration:

http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/range.html

A quote:

"It is Tactical Accuracy not visibility that is the limiting factor.

A 7.92mm or lesser bullet takes around a second to reach 600m. In that time an AWARE target can sprint 5-9m :- you don't know which direction he will take and he'll often be darting between cover. Your chance of hitting him with a single aimed shot is virtually random."

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Yeh thats very relevant and of course considers real world information. If game mechanics applied in the real world, infantry casualties would be such that infantry would not be viable, simple as that. There really is no place for infantry fans like myself in games, infantry appears to be considered just part of the scenary, vehicles provide the real action :(

Further to my post above, desert terrain is generally speaking not flat as many apparently imagine it to be. So to add to the odds against a hit only part of an infantryman's body will be visible most times as well because he will be instinctively seeking to reduce his exposure by whatever means is available at a particular time.

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There is a wonderful look at this issue in an article called

`Mastering Gunnery in Panzer Elite`

You can find a downloadable copy of it here:

(its old)

http://www.gog.com/en/forum/panzer_elite_special_edition/anyone_elses_main_gun_aim_seem_off you will find a link in a post called:

panzer_elite_gun.jpeg (420 Kb)

That's the name of the file, its NOT a .jpeg, its zipped (so unzip it) and in it is a file that will open in word, once you edit the name to end in .doc

Down load the file and CHANGE .jpeg to .zip to open the file

and PRESTO

you will have a very in depth look at how WWII tank gunnery optics work!

There are good pictures screen grabs and examples. (It was a GREAT Game to practice German Tank gunnery as the Tank gunner!)

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I believe i posted this link quite some time ago, but it pertains directly to this discussion, so I will resubmit for others consideration:

http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/range.html

A quote:

"It is Tactical Accuracy not visibility that is the limiting factor.

A 7.92mm or lesser bullet takes around a second to reach 600m. In that time an AWARE target can sprint 5-9m :- you don't know which direction he will take and he'll often be darting between cover. Your chance of hitting him with a single aimed shot is virtually random."

I remember that you mentioned that in some discussion about HE ammuntion.

Parts of the author's conclusions and assumptions point to the right direction, but his conclusion/infos regarding the amount of rounds carried by a German rifleman, the bits about the amount of troops assigned to operate a MG and about the number of SMGs (MP 40, MP44 or StG44 if you will) issued per squad are a bit off, partially due to the fact that he bases his conclusions on Niehorster's 1939 TOE and on TOEs projecting the equipment level of Volksgrenadier-Divisions in 1944 and 1945, which were utopistic for the most part, as in reality the Germans had to manage the omnipresent scarcity of equipment and resources during the last say 3.5 years, especially during 1944 and 1945, even though the German armament industry's output had peaked as late as 1944 (partially due to streamlining or simplifying parts and weapons, which resulted in lower quality here and there).

1) Regarding the amount of troops operating a MG34/42, the KStN (Kriegsstärkenachweis, which was maintained by the OKW) entries for an infantry company (note: NOT a motorcycle company) from 1943/44 draw a different picture.

I have several scans of the complete original KStN from 1944, for example, which indicates that the 3rd soldier had been stripped (somewhere between 1940 - 1942, I would have to dig for the pre-1944 KStN to give the exact date, but this info can be found in the literature too), because it turned out that the 2nd soldier could carry a sufficient amount of ammo for a bipod MG (LMG).

It took more effort (troops) to move and operate a tripod MG, but these were operated in and assigned to MG-Batallions in the main, anyways.

1941 (H)MG-Company:

http://niehorster.orbat.com/011_germany/41_organ_army/kstn_0151c.htm

Still, by 1941 even HMGs were operated by 2 soldiers only, means by a gunner (pistol) and an assistant (pistol). An additional number of 6 soldiers and 2 drivers were meant to provide security for 2 HMGs and maintain a proper level of ammunition supply, all of these 8 troops were equipped with rifles.

2) Rounds carried by riflemen: According to German Army manuals (1939, 1941), each rifleman had to carry 6 cartrides (5 rounds = 30 rounds), with some additional 3 cartridges stored on the truck (15 rounds). In practice each of the 2 ammunition "bags" were filled with 30 rounds (=60 rounds), and many soldiers used their tommy-bags (haversack?) to carry some additional 20-30 rounds, prior to heavy engagements. 30-60 rounds used to be the standard layout, though.

3) The Volksgrenadier-Divisions were somewhat favoured when it came to equipping troops with the new StG44, there were quite some newly established companies whose troops were all equipped with either StG44, MP40 or Beretta (in 1944). Ammunition supply for the Sturmgewehr was critical though, as the projected production figures (200 million rounds per month) of this new and unusual round (7.9 mm) could not be reached. The projected figures of 400 million rounds (an utopistic figure from February 1944) were changed to a more realistic output of 120 million rounds per month in February 1945. In practice, this meant that even some Volksgrenadier-Divisions had to fall back to rifles too, as the MP40s were either employed elsewhere or as they did not have the accuracy/impact needed for engagements above 50-80 meters. On top of that, the industrial StG44-output was too low to a) make a vital change and B) to equip all of the new divisions. The demand to employ these new assault rifles, made by German divisional commanders was spot on though, as especially the US units actually had superior firepower with their mix of semi-auto Garand rifles, BARs and and MPs.

The main thought for deployment within Volksgrenadier-Divisions, though, was to up the combat value of these (partially 2nd rate units, as many of them received little to no training or consisted of formerly dismissed soldiers) units, because it took less experience/skill to fire a StG and actually hit something.

4) Rifle cartridges had been changed prior to the war, in particular the charge had been reduced. You or someone else stated that in the discussion I mentioned above, too, and that's correct. The rifle rounds were then only required to provide sufficient stopping power (and accuracy) up to 200 meters (some sources say 250-300), so the Waffenamt had indeed lowered the specs. I believe this had several reasons and may involve some lessons from WWI, one was most likely the attempt to lower ammunition expenditure (which reminds me of the change made to the M16 employed in Vietnam, which introduced a switch that restrict the rifle to fire triple and single rounds only) and to lower allocation of resources (bullet charge, metal), another reason could have been the thought that the typical engagement would take place somewhere between 150 and 300 meters, obviously.

Although LMGs and HMGs (and maybe even StG44s later on) were meant to deliver a suppressive rain of bullets, US troops showed that BAR rifles could be used to pick on troops way above 400 meters, with surprising accuracy. The bullet's velocity was the key here. There are accounts that German troops operated MG42s in a similar manner - firing single shots only, in Africa and in France (1944), occasionally.

In turn, the Brits mastered ballistic area fire with their Vickers HMGs, up to 4.5 kilometers, with devastating effect.

That said, TOW2's small arms are way too lethal.

........ ......... ......

I do like the author's critical article about the HMMWV's bad stand in Iraq, and that it should have been pulled out of Iraq a few years ago, though.

http://www.angelfire.com/art/enchanter/guntruck.html

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