German Paratroopers 1943+ squad

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asloser

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And whoever gave the Lahti ATR a ROF was a fool. ATR's had such a recoil that even a semi-automatic mechanism meant that they couldn't get off that many rounds per minute. Further, the whole point of an ATR was surprise, which meant firing a round and moving to a new spot. The Soviet PTRD (not semi-automatic) and PTRS (semi-automatic), both FAR superior weapons to the Lahti, show that a semi-automatic mechanism was a waste of time on an ATR.
Lahti ATRs were modified as a makeshift AA weapon in 1944 to use automatic fire.

But I think Russian ATRs hit a far better combination of firepower vs mobility vs simplicity.
 
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Paul M. Weir

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From memory of early published ASL ATR design considerations the non-20mm ATR were given no RoF simply because of their after armour lack of lethality. An ATR kill represents a round finally hitting something vital like a crewman, MA cartridge, gun sight, etc rather than burying itself in a radio, ration box, etc. It was felt that 20mm was the boundary where after armour lethality jumped, not only because of much more metal but the availability of APHE rounds.

The Finnish, Italian, Minor and Polish (on TKS) ATR used the same 20x138mm Solothurn round as did the German 2cm KwK/Flak 30 & 38.

The PTRD was semi-automatic in the artillery sense, IE after firing the bolt opened and ejected the spent cartridge. The assistant fed in a round and the gunner manually closed the bolt. The PTRS was semi-automatic in the normal rifle sense, also feeding in the next round. Both reduced the recoil somewhat. They generally outperformed their 20mm competitors in penetration, never mind being much, much lighter.
 

Actionjick

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And whoever gave the Lahti ATR a ROF was a fool. ATR's had such a recoil that even a semi-automatic mechanism meant that they couldn't get off that many rounds per minute. Further, the whole point of an ATR was surprise, which meant firing a round and moving to a new spot. The Soviet PTRD (not semi-automatic) and PTRS (semi-automatic), both FAR superior weapons to the Lahti, show that a semi-automatic mechanism was a waste of time on an ATR.
Fish went to the Knob Creek machine gun shoot a few times where you could rent various weapons and took videos while there. The one video I particularly remember is of a young man who rented a Lahti. He was laying prone on the ground with his boonie hat on. He fired the Lahti and the recoil/blast blew his hat off! Hilarious!!

Fish also had someone take videos of him firing various weapons while he was wearing his post office uniform. For our foreign friends who might not see the dark humor in this there had been more than a few prior incidents of postal workers gunning down their coworkers. Hence the term " going postal " to describe a person who loses it mentally and attacks his fellow workers.
 

Michael Dorosh

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All German squads were assigned a MG34 or MG42. A LMG counter is considered an extra.

I would point to your question as an overall ASL player bias that the quality of German elite troops increased drastically after 1942. They did not. What happened is the quality of first line troops declined rapidly in the same time period. SS and Falschirmjaeger weren't supermen. They were simply volunteer formations that young German men joined in order to avoid becoming the cannon fodder that the Wehrmacht had become during that time period.
The infantry division was reduced in manpower as firepower increased. The example of 65 Inf Div (see my avatar) is typical. They went from six infantry battalions in two regiments, to six infantry battalions in three regiments during a major reorg in December 1943.

What was the difference?

You now had more overhead in the form of regimental anti-tank and infantry gun companies. At some point also the infantry squads were reduced from 10 men to 9 men, on paper, but in practical terms probably never fully up to strength. So as mentioned in several comments above, more firepower to make up for fewer men.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Stop glorifying the elite Germans. They were war criminals and their main superpower is that they had to fight to the death to avoid being charged as such.
That's an ex post-facto assessment. Holocaust aside (abetted most certainly by the Wehrmacht but largely perpetrated by police and security units, including willing volunteers from the conquered territories), there is ample reason to believe the many civilian deaths in places like Italy were not in the technical sense actually crimes. They certainly are by our standards. The Germans chose to interpret the Hague Convention as permitting reprisal killings of civilians, a practice which had been common in Europe for centuries. It is offensive to our modern sensibilities, but the German Army of 1939-45 was in so many ways a 19th Century institution. 20th Century lawyers were able to make hay of them, but of course, it is far less black and white than any sweeping generalizations that can be made. Probably not a conversation worth having here as the inevitable riposte is to enquire of the status of veterans of Bomber Command. But those sweeping accusations will certainly derail otherwise decent conversations, so probably best to avoid them.
 
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skarper

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The Wehrmacht was much deeper into the mass murder of Jews and others than was for a long time supposed. There was a tendency to blame the SS and Gestapo and let everyone else off.

So - I'm unwilling to glorify any German unit. That's not the purpose of this discussion.

However, in the interests of getting to the truth, I prefer to give the Germans their due. They manufactured and issued a vast number of MG34/42s. They were in the hands of troops in increasing ratios as the war went on.

That the allies prevailed in the teeth of such firepower is testament to their courage and skill. Not to mention the firepower of the Royal Artillery and US artillery.
 

Michael Dorosh

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The Wehrmacht was much deeper into the mass murder of Jews and others than was for a long time supposed. There was a tendency to blame the SS and Gestapo and let everyone else off.

So - I'm unwilling to glorify any German unit. That's not the purpose of this discussion.

However, in the interests of getting to the truth, I prefer to give the Germans their due. They manufactured and issued a vast number of MG34/42s. They were in the hands of troops in increasing ratios as the war went on.

That the allies prevailed in the teeth of such firepower is testament to their courage and skill. Not to mention the firepower of the Royal Artillery and US artillery.
By the same token, Allied operational skill was higher than many historians originally gave credit for. Certainly in the case of the Canadians, whose official historian doubted (based on comments by senior leaders themselves) their training and general value. Postwar historians are coming to different conclusions. Allied doctrine was artillery-based, as you point out. It was effective and it worked. Using the Germans' own defensive doctrine (heavy counterattacks at point blank range) against them also worked wonders once the Allies got the hang of it.
 

skarper

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The Allies suffered some reverses when matching untried units and commanders against experienced German formations, but they learned fast.

I have just reread 'Operation Epsom Over the Battlefield' by the late Ian Daglish. During this battle, British units in their first taste of combat were able to fight the very best German units to a standstill.
 

von Marwitz

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So - I'm unwilling to glorify any German unit. That's not the purpose of this discussion.
No one is telling you to glorify any German unit. But if someone brings oneself to infamize German soldiers on a scale of 'All elite German soldiers were war criminals' into this discussion such as T34, you cannot expect to let this bull**** to go unchecked.

von Marwitz
 
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The Purist

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Be careful about adding LMG to reflect a 2nd squad LMG. I would strongly recommend only adding 1 LMG per 2 squads for 2-X LMG or 1 LMG per 3 squads for 3-8 at most. The LMG counters represent something above and beyond squad inherent LMG; a platoon reserve crack LMG team or an extra allocation of ammo along with an extra LMG. They are not normal.
I agree with this. My thought is that if a reduced company (about 7-8 SE) had 2 LMG they would get a third but little more. When the Germans began using 81mm mortars as company weapons, they saw a significant increase in firepower. Add in a battalion mortar OBA of 120mm and you can see why fighting in the Liri Valley, Cassino and up in the mountains approaching the monastery was so difficult.
 

skarper

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I think we agree. Some Wehrmacht soldiers committed war crimes. Some SS soldiers did not. It's not really part of this discussion as far as I'm concerned.
 

T34

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Such a generalization is as wrong as it is inacceptable.

von Marwitz
Why do you need to politicize this by defending Nazis? They were demonstrably war criminals according to the Nuremburg trials and cowards into the bargain.

I'm not being political, I'm stating historical fact when I state that their only identifiable "advantage" over earlier German formations was their expectation that they would not be taken prisoner.

In fact, the Soviet Union declared all Germans who served in the Wehrmacht or SS were war criminals and subjected to time in the Soviet penal system. Justifiably so, in my opinion; evidently not, in yours. Regardless, they were all considered war criminals.
 

von Marwitz

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Sez you. The only good Nazi is a dead Nazi.
Off you go to my 'Ignore' list.

First you generally denounce all elite German soldiers as war criminals. Surely, you are convinced they were all Nazis.
Then only a dead Nazi is a dead Nazi. Did you also already take the step to 'only a dead German is a good German' yet? Or will that take you another ten minutes?

Nobody here doubts that the Nazis were a criminal regime. Nor that millions of Germans were Nazis. Nor that there were war criminals among the Nazis, SS, and - yes - of course also among the Wehrmacht.

But your 'line of argument' would have done any Nazi honor.

von Marwitz
 

Michael Dorosh

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Why do you need to politicize this by defending Nazis? They were demonstrably war criminals according to the Nuremburg trials and cowards into the bargain.
As noted above, you're bringing emotion into a discussion where it doesn't belong. As necessary as the Nuremberg trials were, they were making up law on the spot in many cases. The Germans felt differently about their interpretation of the Hague Convention. It's good we have legal precedent now going forward, but the average soldier in the field told to shoot civilians had no reason to feel he was doing anything wrong, any more than an American policeman gunning down a mentally ill person charging them with a knife feels they are doing anything wrong. I suspect in the near to long future, that attitude may well change. It already is in certain quarters.
 

Paul M. Weir

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While relevant to WW2 and not current politics, this is becoming increasingly polemical and we all know where that might lead.

I don't wish to be forced to shut down what otherwise has been a useful thread. Back to OoB and weapons, PLEASE!
 

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By the same token, Allied operational skill was higher than many historians originally gave credit for. Certainly in the case of the Canadians, whose official historian doubted (based on comments by senior leaders themselves) their training and general value. Postwar historians are coming to different conclusions. Allied doctrine was artillery-based, as you point out. It was effective and it worked. Using the Germans' own defensive doctrine (heavy counterattacks at point blank range) against them also worked wonders once the Allies got the hang of it.
Yup, the western democracies were very keen to avoid casualties and developed their firepower based doctrine to suit. German 'manoeuvre' warfare' (bewegungskrieg) was suitable in the early war because fire power "density" had not yet compensated for improvements in the internal combustion engine. By mid-42 this began to change as defensive positions became deeper, denser and with reserves more mobile reserves.

No attack, no matter who's army launched it, was successful until the operational depth of the defence had been penetrated and local reserves exhausted. Until that happened the defence could simply 'absorb' the attack and reserves defeat any local penetration.

By the second half of the war firepower trumped manoeuvre until these conditions were met. Where the Germans could manage the needed density their line was held (very hard to do in the east). Where they could not they had to rely on local reserves,... once the reserves were exhausted, their lines collapsed.

Allied doctrine involved destroying the German operation depth and reserves with firepower in order to release their own mobile formation for deep exploitations. In this they proved successful as the allies executed some of the deepest exploitations of the war. The Red Army was playing a similar game in the east and with similar results.
 
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T34

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I think we agree. Some Wehrmacht soldiers committed war crimes. Some SS soldiers did not. It's not really part of this discussion as far as I'm concerned.
You are wrong, of course, according to Soviet courts they were all war criminals. However, my point, trying to stay on ASL, is that their "advantage" of having a higher broken side morale, was based on the fact that they were not going to be taken prisoner. Of course, no Red Army soldier was ever taken prisoner in good faith and knew this as early as 1942, plus had the added incentive that they were facing a penal battalion if they escaped as a prisoner. But the Red Army doesn't get a higher broken side morale.
 

Michael Dorosh

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You are wrong, of course, according to Soviet courts they were all war criminals.
Why should anyone care what a bunch of murderous Communists think? As noted, their declarations were not based on law, but emotion, as are yours.

Of course, no Red Army soldier was ever taken prisoner in good faith and knew this as early as 1942
I'd be interested in a source for this, as it relates to ASL. I don't think anybody on either side of any nationality thought they were going to enter a Hogan's Heroes existence if they surrendered. If nothing else, tales of privation from the First World War PW camps, or even horror stories like Andersonville from the US Civil War, would likely have informed anyone's decision making.
 
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