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I have always liked this piece and it is good to see how the US Army got its act together. I do have a couple of gripes in that the piece did not adress the German side of the coin in terms of whether the defenders were attrited to the extent that the opposition was getting skinnier and skinnier.

No I know it is not part of his papers defined terms so will forgive him that : ) It is an interesting thought to see if there are matching German articles on defending in the bocage.

There is also some mismatches in terms of a 2500yard advance requiring thirty-four hedge breachings - contrasted to average fields being 200yards x 400yards. [because the fields are small, about 200 by 400 yards in size, and usually irregular in shape, the hedgerows are numerous and set in no logical pattern]

There is also the comment regarding the unknown:

the Normandy campaign is an excellent example of how a military organization can adapt itself to unforeseen circumstances and a hostile environment.

And I do wonder how far, for reasons of security, that hedgerow fighting was not taught. Or was it genuinely that nobody considered the problem pre-invasion. Or that they assumed Hitler would run? Not part of Doubler's remit!. : )

His website:

http://www.michaeldoubler.com/

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I've just recently read the article. What was interesting is comparing the casualty report of the 29th ID in this article with what was reported in other books. I've not got the sources in front of me (at work) but during the operations decsribed although the 29th ID made progress during it's operations outside St Lo (and using the new SOPs for bocage busting), they still lost a lot of men in the process. I guess although the Germans may have used SOPs for setting up their defences I suspect as soon as they worked out what was goin on with the US new SOPs they'd very quickyl comeup with a response. Even if they stuck with it the attackers are still prone to ranged mortar fire on TRPs.

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There is also some mismatches in terms of a 2500yard advance requiring thirty-four hedge breachings - contrasted to average fields being 200yards x 400yards.

I don't see the problem. I assume that a regimental advance is six fields wide. In which case, 34 breachings seems quite plausible for a 2500 yard advance.

Michael

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In the game, can the Shermans with rhinos plow thru the hedgerows and alter the landscape. I'd really like to see a screen capture of before and after of this.:)

This is from the "Features" page.

"Detailed simulation of Normandy's infamous hedgerows ("bocage"), including the explicit simulation of breaching with Rhino tank attachments and engineers"

Since terrain deformation is in CMx2, I would expect with 99% certainty that bocage is no exception. I'd love some pretty pictures too, but BFC and the beta boys are probably rather busy. I hope their real-life commitments won't suffer too much from the crunch.

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Yes Rhinos are in the game. Also engineers can breach bocage (you can 'buy' small three man breaching teams which can be attached to a platoon.

In game Rhinos clear the hedgerow/bocage. Still some debate about timings etc so guess BFC might not post screenshots till the final effect is agreed. From a pure game mechanics POV it currently works and works well. I've been working on a scenario that is based purely around Busting The Bocage and allows the player to use the tactics outlined in that article.

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And I do wonder how far, for reasons of security, that hedgerow fighting was not taught. Or was it genuinely that nobody considered the problem pre-invasion. Or that they assumed Hitler would run? Not part of Doubler's remit!. : )

The principles applied to breach the defensive positions in the bocage the Germans had prepared were much the same as the standard drills.

The main thing was that certain solutions had to be thought up to counter the one or two unique problems that the bocage presented, just like any other multi-layered defensive position.

Ironically the lack of organic fire power in the American squads was the main problem. The lack of a weapon capable of sustained suppressive fire (i.e. Squad machine gun) had the GI's outgunned once they were isolated from their support company.

As the isolated nature of the fighting placed the emphasis on the very lowest levels of command the inexperience of the troops and variable leadership quality just made the situation all the harder.

The innovation came from how this problem was alleviated and enhancing their tanks mobility and integration with the infantry was a big part in that.

There was no real opportunity not any real need for special training in regards of the bocage as just like Aachen and the Hurtgen Forest which were to follow they were just another nut to crack and to their credit the GI's were able to do just that.

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George MC, after reading the exellent document posted by JSj,do you feel that CM:BN will well

simulate the tactics describes in it. About Artillery Obs i read this:"During the Normandy battles, aerial forward observers conducted the majority of target-fire missions with "universally excellent" results."

Aerial artillery obs will be in the game? Another thing i read:"Artillery observers rode in the lead tanks and brought accurate, indirect fire down on the enemy. Infantry battalion commanders with manpack radios rode in command tanks to better coordinate tankers and riflemen. The commander of the 22d Infantry reported that his soldiers were enthusiastic about riding the Shermans "Russian style." The infantry found that riding on tanks gave them several advantages. The height of the tanks put the riflemen above grazing fire and gave them better observation. Riding on tanks that moved at irregular speeds also made the infantry more difficult targets."

i know the unit can't mount on the tank in CM:BN, but artilley Obs will can?

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Speaking of breaching a hedge row. It is a little known fact, on rainy days it was much easier for a rhino-tank to plow thru a hedge row when the ground was softer. However after the Sun was shining for a few days the ground would get very hard. That is why the GI tankers always cursed those - Sunny Breaches. :D

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About Artillery Obs i read this:"During the Normandy battles, aerial forward observers conducted the majority of target-fire missions with "universally excellent" results."

Aerial artillery obs will be in the game? Another thing i read:"Artillery observers rode in the lead tanks and brought accurate, indirect fire down on the enemy. Infantry battalion commanders with manpack radios rode in command tanks to better coordinate tankers and riflemen.

CAS is modelled in the game. Just you have to watch for 'danger close' any air aupport called in on targets less than a Km away is asking for a Blue on Blue incident. There is another thread chatting about CAS right now. Just checking but in my beta version of the game only Forward Observers, Platoon HQ and above can call in CAS.

One of the reasons for the 29th ID evolving the SOP they did was the challenge in bringing observed artillery fire down on German positions only a 100m or so away. Again only Platoon HQ elements and above (inclduing FOs) can call in arty support. Response times vary according to C2. So Company CO requesting support will be quicker than a lowly Platoon HQ (assuming they have unbroken C2 with their Company CO or an attached FO). What is great about the C2 in CMBN is you can attach units for C2 purposes. So for example you can attach tanks to an infantry platoon HQ or vice versa.

The tank riders example quoted is an odd one. I read that in the report and it seems odd to have guys riding tanks into action considering how many infantry hand held AT weapons the Germans had, and how many Shermans were lost to German AT assets. Looking again at it I think this refers to the breakout actions which took place in more open terrain and at a point when the German defence had been broken. Interestingly the Brits did not have their guys riding into action on tanks in their sector. So I think that where the US units used this tactic might suggest less organised resistance and perhaps a more fluid situation? Be keen to hear if anyone else has a differant take on this?

The example you outlined above was the one oft quoted when there was a discussion about implementing tank riders for CMBN. Given the main scope of the action which in this module is centred around the bocage fighting it was felt to be an outlaying example and ocurred, I belive, latter in August. FWIW tank riders are on the BFC list of things to do. The Bulge module is the one it's been suggested it might appear. Failing that I guess the Ost Front would be a good bet. :)

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The tank riders example quoted is an odd one. I read that in the report and it seems odd to have guys riding tanks into action considering how many infantry hand held AT weapons the Germans had, and how many Shermans were lost to German AT assets. Looking again at it I think this refers to the breakout actions which took place in more open terrain and at a point when the German defence had been broken. Interestingly the Brits did not have their guys riding into action on tanks in their sector. So I think that where the US units used this tactic might suggest less organised resistance and perhaps a more fluid situation? Be keen to hear if anyone else has a differant take on this?

The example you outlined above was the one oft quoted when there was a discussion about implementing tank riders for CMBN. Given the main scope of the action which in this module is centred around the bocage fighting it was felt to be an outlaying example and ocurred, I belive, latter in August. FWIW tank riders are on the BFC list of things to do. The Bulge module is the one it's been suggested it might appear. Failing that I guess the Ost Front would be a good bet. :)

I would actually take quite a bit of this with a grain of salt. Relations between the 29th ID and 2nd AD were so bad during the breakout that Maurice Rose was actually removed from command (temporarily). There is also some line amongst the 2nd AD to the effect, yeah we fought the 29th ID at Tilly sur Vire and found them to be pretty good fighters.

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The example you outlined above was the one oft quoted when there was a discussion about implementing tank riders for CMBN. Given the main scope of the action which in this module is centred around the bocage fighting it was felt to be an outlaying example and ocurred, I belive, latter in August. FWIW tank riders are on the BFC list of things to do. The Bulge module is the one it's been suggested it might appear. Failing that I guess the Ost Front would be a good bet. :)

From what I've read, after Cobra the German front collapsed and their forces retreated so fast, that American "leg" infantry just grabbed or hopped on anything with wheels just to try and keep up. So yeah, tank-riding would seem to be more important in the fast-moving, wide-open-spaces type of war that happened in Aug-September than in the CMBN period.

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From what I've read, after Cobra the German front collapsed and their forces retreated so fast, that American "leg" infantry just grabbed or hopped on anything with wheels just to try and keep up. So yeah, tank-riding would seem to be more important in the fast-moving, wide-open-spaces type of war that happened in Aug-September than in the CMBN period.

CMBN covers the period to the end of August, doesn't it?

:confused:

Michael

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@Michael

Yeah CMBN does cover till the end of August.

For all - Tank Riders: The issue about tank riders has been covered before in another thread about why tank riders were not included in CMBN. Main issue was the amount of work, coding and animations, to have the guys on the tank be able to behave and be shot at as though they were on a tank. It was a lot of work for a practice that was not prevalent in the tactical combat phase prevalent in most of the combat in Normandy - which is what CMBN primarily simulates.

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George MC, after reading the exellent document posted by JSj,do you feel that CM:BN will well simulate the tactics describes in it.
Ohhhh yes. A few HMG/LMG's at strategic places in the bocage and whole platoons/companies' struggle to advance, if at all. Grazing fire is deadly, coupled with mortars after pinning plts. and you have a recipe for scratched platoons within 1-2 turns after being pinned :(
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@Michael

Yeah CMBN does cover till the end of August.

Thankyou!

:)

For all - Tank Riders: The issue about tank riders has been covered before in another thread about why tank riders were not included in CMBN. Main issue was the amount of work, coding and animations, to have the guys on the tank be able to behave and be shot at as though they were on a tank. It was a lot of work for a practice that was not prevalent in the tactical combat phase prevalent in most of the combat in Normandy - which is what CMBN primarily simulates.

There it is, folks. Gonna have to put those grunts in HTs or trucks if you want them to keep up.

Michael

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Ohhhh yes. A few HMG/LMG's at strategic places in the bocage and whole platoons/companies' struggle to advance, if at all. Grazing fire is deadly, coupled with mortars after pinning plts. and you have a recipe for scratched platoons within 1-2 turns after being pinned :(

You speaking from experience there? ;)

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I found this highly interresting read about the American effort to develop an effective combined arms tactic for fighting in the Normady bocage terrain. I hope you might find some useful things there to try out when the game finally gets released!

http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/resources/csi/doubler/doubler.asp

Great link. A level or two up provided many more documents.

http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/contentdm/home.htm

Infantry field manual 1944

http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/p4013coll9&CISOPTR=743&CISOBOX=1&REC=3

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GeorgeMC Thanks for your answer. The first example I outlined it was about the artillery observer in plane like piper club. about the tank riding the paragraph is front the picture showing a rhino tank through a hedgerow with infantry ride on his back: it was the last tactic developed during July in the bocage theatre and applying during Cobra operation.i am happy to know that maybe this fonction can appears in the future third module. when you playing do you say to yourself like the officers say in the report:"General Bradley called the Bocage the "damndest country I've seen." General Collins of VII Corps was equally surprised by the nature of the hedgerow terrain and told General Bradley on 9 June that the Bocage was as bad as anything he had encountered on Guadalcanal. Brigadier General James M. Gavin, the assistant division commander of the 82d Airborne, best summarized the surprise of the senior American leadership: "Although there had been some talk in the U.K. before D-Day about the hedgerows, none of us had really appreciated how difficult they would turn out to be.""

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General Bradley called the Bocage the "damndest country I've seen." General Collins of VII Corps was equally surprised by the nature of the hedgerow terrain and told General Bradley on 9 June that the Bocage was as bad as anything he had encountered on Guadalcanal. Brigadier General James M. Gavin, the assistant division commander of the 82d Airborne, best summarized the surprise of the senior American leadership: "Although there had been some talk in the U.K. before D-Day about the hedgerows, none of us had really appreciated how difficult they would turn out to be.""

The generals and their staffs were too busy focusing on how to get ashore and failed to devote much effort to post D-Day tactics. Montgomery's boast about having his British tanks knocking about south of Caen on D-Day itself notwithstanding.

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The generals and their staffs were too busy focusing on how to get ashore and failed to devote much effort to post D-Day tactics. Montgomery's boast about having his British tanks knocking about south of Caen on D-Day itself notwithstanding.

Raises a good point tho', how did the British and Canadians fare in the hedgerows?

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