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Actionjick

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It's not death but their prior decline that I found most wearing. I've lost/buried 15 since '84, so I'm used to that. Sounds callous but death is closure, no more worrying.
Sigh, you are absolutely correct on that point. My oldest, Leela, is now 17 and starting to slow down and show signs of her age. Then again so am I and Action Debbie. Hope your health improves.

I have been trying to avoid some of the seriousness myself which is why I spend so much time on this site. Much to the chagrin of the overall community.I'm sure they are getting tired of my bitd posts!
 

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Sigh, you are absolutely correct on that point. My oldest, Leela, is now 17 and starting to slow down and show signs of her age. Then again so am I and Action Debbie. Hope your health improves.

I have been trying to avoid some of the seriousness myself which is why I spend so much time on this site. Much to the chagrin of the overall community.I'm sure they are getting tired of my bitd posts!
The way I'm starting to fall apart I'm not sure how much longer I can use the Action in Actionburk with a good conscious.??
 

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I should have mentioned that it was Clovis that died at 12y 1m. He's my current avatar.

Back to the T-26. Just because a tank was found/captured/photographed without a CMG/BMG/RMG doesn't mean that one was not fitted. The US M1919 and British BESA were moderately heavy, but the lighter German MG-34 and especially the Soviet DT and DTM were just versions of the infantry LMG. So there might be a better chance of the crew removing a MG-34 or DT when exiting a stricken vehicle, especially if not ablaze, for self protection.
 

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I should have mentioned that it was Clovis that died at 12y 1m. He's my current avatar.

Back to the T-26. Just because a tank was found/captured/photographed without a CMG/BMG/RMG doesn't mean that one was not fitted. The US M1919 and British BESA were moderately heavy, but the lighter German MG-34 and especially the Soviet DT and DTM were just versions of the infantry LMG. So there might be a better chance of the crew removing a MG-34 or DT when exiting a stricken vehicle, especially if not ablaze, for self protection.
Finns captured more DT MGs than they could fit into their tanks hence some were issued as LMGs to infantry units. Even when all StuG AAMGs were exchanged to DTs there was a plenty left over.
 

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I should have mentioned that it was Clovis that died at 12y 1m. He's my current avatar.

Back to the T-26. Just because a tank was found/captured/photographed without a CMG/BMG/RMG doesn't mean that one was not fitted. The US M1919 and British BESA were moderately heavy, but the lighter German MG-34 and especially the Soviet DT and DTM were just versions of the infantry LMG. So there might be a better chance of the crew removing a MG-34 or DT when exiting a stricken vehicle, especially if not ablaze, for self protection.
The vehicle mount MG34 had no bipod (or sling) though, did it? Or for that matter spare barrels?
 

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The vehicle mount MG34 had no bipod (or sling) though, did it? Or for that matter spare barrels?
And no shoulder stock.

I'm sure spare barrels, a stock, bipod and tools were held somewhere in panzers. German attention to detail. But that would be more for a situation where a vehicle broke down or ran out of fuel close behind the front line and a guard needed to be posted.

The DT and DTM had a telescoping metal stock.

However, who gives a faeces when all you have to bail out, with plenty of unfriendly brown/feldgrau/olive rats in close proximity, is a pistol. You are trying to survive, not properly man a bunker. Grab what you can whilst avoiding being shot.
 
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Michael Dorosh

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Canadian tank crews (for an example I am familiar with) were under orders to pull the bolts of their MGs when bailing out. Destroy them, in other words, rather than save them. Tanks generally operated in troops and squadrons (platoons and companies) - I think it would be unusual for a crew to bail out with the expectation it would need to fight as infantry. In fact, as specialists, they were under orders to avoid that (apparently, according to the ASLRB, the Japanese were an exception).


12. DRILL FOR ABANDONING TANK. When a tank is abandoned as a flamer the crew commander will be responsible for releasing the emergency fire extinguishers. At all other times the crew commander will ensure that the following drill is carried out -

(a) The gunner will remove the striker case and spare striker case of the 75mm and the bolts of the (coaxial) Browning

(b) The operator will put the set off net and remove the six point connector

(c) The bow gunner will remove the bolt and spare bolt from his Browning


(d) All personnel will take personal weapons with them. Stores removed from the tank will be turned over to the Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant at the first opportunity

I am sure this was not always done under fire, from a tank with a reputation for brewing up, but I also expect that crews trained in doing all these things. The point though is that they were specifically ordered not to fight with the MGs, but to render them incapable of firing.
 

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I should have mentioned that it was Clovis that died at 12y 1m. He's my current avatar.

Back to the T-26. Just because a tank was found/captured/photographed without a CMG/BMG/RMG doesn't mean that one was not fitted. The US M1919 and British BESA were moderately heavy, but the lighter German MG-34 and especially the Soviet DT and DTM were just versions of the infantry LMG. So there might be a better chance of the crew removing a MG-34 or DT when exiting a stricken vehicle, especially if not ablaze, for self protection.
Actiondebbie wanted to see picture of Clovis. I showed her your avatar and she said he was a good looking cat and sends you her condolences.
 

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I'm curious about this picture from another thread (http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/beer-and-wwii.158820/#post-2032000) and thought I'd ask the question here, is there an operational reason for putting blankets over the gun trails? Do they need to be kept dry? Would they be particularly reflective? I wouldn't have thought the blankets would break up the outline of the gun that much, from the air or otherwise. And it doesn't seem to be to provide a comfy sitting place while drinking their beers.
 

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I'm curious about this picture from another thread (http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/beer-and-wwii.158820/#post-2032000) and thought I'd ask the question here, is there an operational reason for putting blankets over the gun trails? Do they need to be kept dry? Would they be particularly reflective? I wouldn't have thought the blankets would break up the outline of the gun that much, from the air or otherwise. And it doesn't seem to be to provide a comfy sitting place while drinking their beers.
They are simply drying their laundry.?
 

Actionjick

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Canadian tank crews (for an example I am familiar with) were under orders to pull the bolts of their MGs when bailing out. Destroy them, in other words, rather than save them. Tanks generally operated in troops and squadrons (platoons and companies) - I think it would be unusual for a crew to bail out with the expectation it would need to fight as infantry. In fact, as specialists, they were under orders to avoid that (apparently, according to the ASLRB, the Japanese were an exception).


12. DRILL FOR ABANDONING TANK. When a tank is abandoned as a flamer the crew commander will be responsible for releasing the emergency fire extinguishers. At all other times the crew commander will ensure that the following drill is carried out -

(a) The gunner will remove the striker case and spare striker case of the 75mm and the bolts of the (coaxial) Browning

(b) The operator will put the set off net and remove the six point connector

(c) The bow gunner will remove the bolt and spare bolt from his Browning


(d) All personnel will take personal weapons with them. Stores removed from the tank will be turned over to the Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant at the first opportunity

I am sure this was not always done under fire, from a tank with a reputation for brewing up, but I also expect that crews trained in doing all these things. The point though is that they were specifically ordered not to fight with the MGs, but to render them incapable of firing.
It's amazing what you can do in a couple seconds, if you had to do it over and over and over again.
 

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I'm curious about this picture from another thread (http://www.gamesquad.com/forums/index.php?threads/beer-and-wwii.158820/#post-2032000) and thought I'd ask the question here, is there an operational reason for putting blankets over the gun trails? Do they need to be kept dry? Would they be particularly reflective? I wouldn't have thought the blankets would break up the outline of the gun that much, from the air or otherwise. And it doesn't seem to be to provide a comfy sitting place while drinking their beers.
I really think it was makeshift camo. Notice the gunshield and barrel are also draped. Looking at the picture, you wouldn't think it was effective, but looking through a Soviet tank vision slit, it wasn't bad cover.
 

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I really think it was makeshift camo. Notice the gunshield and barrel are also draped. Looking at the picture, you wouldn't think it was effective, but looking through a Soviet tank vision slit, it wasn't bad cover.
I must most respectfully disagree. The boys are doing laundry and having a beer. If the enemy was close enough to be fooled by blankets as camouflage would you be drinking a beer? Lol perhaps! I'd go for wine myself but any port in a storm. Which btw goes for camouflage material also.??

Interesting to speculate on though.
 
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Paul M. Weir

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Now that I'm thinking ASL after a 2-3 month hiatus, I will do a few posts about things that have been rattling around in my skull.

I'll start with a short and easy one, to ease me back into the saddle.
In any such posts I'll only deal with significant combat units, ignoring supply, medical, etc.

Soviet Heavy Tank organisations.
At the start of Barbarossa the Soviets had Tank Corps with 2 Tank divisions and a Motorised Division. These were true Corps sized units unlike the 42+ Tank/Mechanised Corps which where really divisional in size.

Each Tank Division had 2 Tank Regiments each with a HQ, Recon Co., 1 Heavy Tank Battalion, 2 Medium Tank Battalions, a FT Tank battalion and maintenance and supply companies.

The Heavy battalion had a HQ of 1 KV-1, 3 BA-10/20 AC, 3 companies each HQ 1 KV-1 and 3 Platoons each 3 KV-1 for a total of 31 KV-1 and 3 AC. In theory! KV numbers did not match requirements so T-28 might be seen.

By mid July the Tank Corps disappeared and a reduced Tank Division with 2 Tank Regiments was official. The Tank Regt had 1 medium and 2 light tank battalions. The medium battalion had 1 heavy company (as above with 1+3x3 KV) and 2 medium companies. The divisional KV total dropped from 63 to 20 KV.

By August the main tank unit was the Tank Brigade with a medium battalion and 2 light battalions. The medium company had 2 medium companies and 1 heavy company with 7 KV. I've never read whether the KV co. had 1 HQ and 2 platoons of 3 KV or 3 platoons of 2 KV, however reading about Katukov's action at Mtsensk mentions him ordering 3 KV to a new position, so I suspect 1 KV in HQ and 2 platoons of 3 KV.

The December '41 Tank Brigade had 2 tank battalions each with a heavy, a medium and a light company. The heavy company was now down to HQ 1 KV and 2 platoons of 2 for a total of 5. This remained the standard heavy tank company size, a platoon in any other army.

By July '42 heavy tanks were dropped from Tank Brigades and heavy tanks were organised in separate guards heavy breakthrough regiments by October '42. Each such regiment had 1 KV in HQ and 4 companies each with 5 KV (1+2x2) for a total of 21. By early '44 a SMG company and pioneer platoon were added.

The final step was to combine 3 such regiments into a heavy tank brigade that had a SMG battalion and a total of 65 IS-2.

So at the ASL level, heavy tanks (T-28, T-35, KV, IS) went from 10 per company (1+3x3) to 7 (1+2x3) to finally 5 (1+2x2) by the end of '41.
 

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Now that I'm thinking ASL after a 2-3 month hiatus, I will do a few posts about things that have been rattling around in my skull.

I'll start with a short and easy one, to ease me back into the saddle.
In any such posts I'll only deal with significant combat units, ignoring supply, medical, etc.

Soviet Heavy Tank organisations.
At the start of Barbarossa the Soviets had Tank Corps with 2 Tank divisions and a Motorised Division. These were true Corps sized units unlike the 42+ Tank/Mechanised Corps which where really divisional in size.

Each Tank Division had 2 Tank Regiments each with a HQ, Recon Co., 1 Heavy Tank Battalion, 2 Medium Tank Battalions, a FT Tank battalion and maintenance and supply companies.

The Heavy battalion had a HQ of 1 KV-1, 3 BA-10/20 AC, 3 companies each HQ 1 KV-1 and 3 Platoons each 3 KV-1 for a total of 31 KV-1 and 3 AC. In theory! KV numbers did not match requirements so T-28 might be seen.

By mid July the Tank Corps disappeared and a reduced Tank Division with 2 Tank Regiments was official. The Tank Regt had 1 medium and 2 light tank battalions. The medium battalion had 1 heavy company (as above with 1+3x3 KV) and 2 medium companies. The divisional KV total dropped from 63 to 20 KV.

By August the main tank unit was the Tank Brigade with a medium battalion and 2 light battalions. The medium company had 2 medium companies and 1 heavy company with 7 KV. I've never read whether the KV co. had 1 HQ and 2 platoons of 3 KV or 3 platoons of 2 KV, however reading about Katukov's action at Mtsensk mentions him ordering 3 KV to a new position, so I suspect 1 KV in HQ and 2 platoons of 3 KV.

The December '41 Tank Brigade had 2 tank battalions each with a heavy, a medium and a light company. The heavy company was now down to HQ 1 KV and 2 platoons of 2 for a total of 5. This remained the standard heavy tank company size, a platoon in any other army.

By July '42 heavy tanks were dropped from Tank Brigades and heavy tanks were organised in separate guards heavy breakthrough regiments by October '42. Each such regiment had 1 KV in HQ and 4 companies each with 5 KV (1+2x2) for a total of 21. By early '44 a SMG company and pioneer platoon were added.

The final step was to combine 3 such regiments into a heavy tank brigade that had a SMG battalion and a total of 65 IS-2.

So at the ASL level, heavy tanks (T-28, T-35, KV, IS) went from 10 per company (1+3x3) to 7 (1+2x3) to finally 5 (1+2x2) by the end of '41.
Great write up, Paul. It is worth noting that the reason the Red Army decreased the size of the Corps was, first, by the fall they were running out of heavy tanks and 2) they found these organizations much too large for efficient command. Probably, this was the result of the purges, which even in 1941 was showing inexperienced, unprofessional and/or inept (though politically reliable) commanders leading formations. Most were understandably out of their depth. Really, in fighting a fast moving defensive operation heavy (and somewhat unreliable) tanks were not the best formations anyway and the early battlegrounds were strewn with KV's that had been blown up by their crews because of a mechanical issue or that they had simply run out fuel.

Second, it was necessary to have these tanks in specialized units because the KV could not keep up with the T34, which was just coming on line in 1941. Difference in speed (especially off road speed), fuel usage and mechanical reliability (largely the result of T34's being newer than the KV's, many of which were nearing operational maintenance requirements by the time of Barbarossa) made it impossible to coordinate tank groups composed of different types of tanks--especially with a paucity of radio equipment.

Something ASL does not interest itself in is operational mobility. The T34 was a far more operationally mobile tank than the KV. Effective use of KV's meant effectively keeping them near rail heads. They used so much fuel and had so little operational range. A T34 could perform a road march that would have made logistics for a T34/KV unit a nightmare.

A word on T35's as heavy tanks: If there were as many of these as appear in ASL scenarios, they would have had to have five times more than they actually possessed. These were mostly parade ground tanks that centered on Moscow for holidays, with detachments in other cities (though not Leningrad--proud home of the KV.) The Red Army was well aware of the shortcomings of the T35 and did not, I think, consider using it in combat other than the emergency they eventually found themselves in.

Maith thú, my friend.
 

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14868

This was as near as I could figure it out for the Handbook:
14870
 
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Paul M. Weir

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I posted to give ASLers an idea of what might be plausible in a scenario combined with the bigger organisational picture.

As to your first point I will go further and say than many if not most early Tank Corps were lucky to have more than handfuls (if any) of KV and T-34 on hand never mind operational and supplied with diesel and 76.2mm rounds. A couple were close to OoB. Most had just T-26 and BT. T-28 often substituted for KV. The 28 Tank Corps formed by June 22 required 3528 KV and 11760 T-34 but only 508 and 967 respectively were available. A further problem was the gross under allocation of radios, that is even if they were supplied and working.

As to your second point, the T-26, T-40, T-60 and to a lesser extent the T-70 also often lagged badly behind the T-34 once off road. Not really a problem with the BT, though age must have showed. As an aside, Katukov (4th Tank later 1st Guards Tank Brigade) mentioned that he had BTs in his light battalion, including some BT-2 at Mtsensk.

The 60 odd T-35 were in a separate tank brigade (5th) which did not last long (in Ukraine, Brody to Kharkov). Many were lost to breakdowns rather than combat due to long road marches, up to 500 km, during that confused campaign. Apparently 4 were retained as training vehicles and at least 1 was used in the Moscow counter offensive. 1 survived the war and is on display in Kubinka. The Germans defended Zossen with an immobile Kummersdorf evaluation T-35.
 
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A hypothetical question I've been wondering about of late. In ASL terms (i.e. hexes) at what range would you expect direct fire from ART category ordnance weapons to have additional to hit penalties? I'm assuming ART type guns, as a class, would typically not have special targeting sights for direct fire like you'd find in an anti-tank or AA guns. (My admittedly very lazy internet search produced nothing of note on the topic of direct fire sights for WW2 artillery pieces.) Also, let me reinforce that this is purely an academic question; ASL is already larded down more than enough with special rules for infrequent situations, IMO.

On a related note, I've always been more than a bit skeptical that German or French (for example) ART & INF pieces (black TH numbers) are better equipped with direct fire optics than Soviet AT guns or early/mid war US tank guns (red TH numbers.) But who knows? Maybe I'm wrong? Yeah, yeah - Americans couldn't buy Swiss & German optical lenses - so that makes the ones from Corning worse than NONE AT ALL?!?
 
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