Post by Tough Ombre on Jan 23, 2008 23:27:28 GMT -5
I think he pretty much summed it all up there. I just got a great new book, one that is studied in West Point, and its has about 100+ i would say of maps just related to battles in the MTO and ETO. Now this doesn't quite show squad tactics, but it will give you overall views. Its really awesome, Best Part i only payed 10 bucks for the book in the bargain books ( for an 80 dollar book). I will have to scan the maps and put them on here.
The biggest mistake i have seen in movies with ww2 tactics is the use of the phrase "Suppressing fire", which just wasn't used. Instead you would have heard "Base of Fire"
Other difference is in the Navigation of Corners, alleys, and down roadways.
The coverage of a corner would normally look like this.
I really dont have time to fully explain it tonight but tomorrow i will. I was taught this at Rockford by my Squad leader, with the help of some other guys that were Very big historians.
Post by binarypunisher on Jan 24, 2008 1:39:10 GMT -5
How much of a differance are the tactics now from the ones they used in WWII, and were the infantry tactics used by paratroopers as well, I mean being surrounded n' all...??
German or American?
American tactics were not very good, and the squad organization was horrible. The Americans essentially applied 2nd Generational warfare tactics to a 3rd generation war.
Modern infantry tactics are based off of the German tactics of maneuver warfare, and the squad being organized around its machine guns. The Germans essentially pioneered warfare up until the recent 4th generation conflicts.
Post by spitfire740 on Jan 24, 2008 18:36:44 GMT -5
keep in mind though, there are still some very basic precedures that are still used today, the same as they have been used, dating as far back to the Pelopennisian wars. The Hammerand Anvil is one tactic that is constantly stressed through the US military today as it has always been... It is kinda common sense tactics though.
Post by Young Blood on Jan 24, 2008 22:24:34 GMT -5
thanks so far guys, anything you know helps cuz im going to have to learn either from this forum or a book, how to do WWII tactics and then teach them to my new unit iv'e finally formed, remember, everything so far and anything more helps!!!
To understand small unit tactics you must first visualize common formations. These have remained pretty constant throughout the history of warfare. When moving and not expecting contact a unit typically moves in a file (straight line one soldier behind the other.) A colume of twos is the same formation split in two. Files walking down both sides of a road. On line formation is assumed when assaulting a position. It allows the maximum firepower to the front for the advancing formation. It is very weak to the flanks. A wedge creates a V shape with the point toward the enemy. It allows good fire to the front but better protection to the flanks. Very useful when contact is likely but not from a neccessarily known location. A diamond formation is used when moving and there is potential contact from any location. Eschelons left and right are a partial wedge where likely contact is either from a location on either the left or right. (To protect the element from potential fire from a treeline while passing by it.)
These formations were taught in WW2 and are still used today. Teaching your group on paper is easy. Getting them to instinctively use them is very very hard even when you're not getting shot at.
The basic tactic of fire and manuever was taught then and is still a key element in small unit tactics. One section of your squad provides fire on actual or suspected enemy positions while the other section moves either closer to the position or ideally moves on it's flank. In particularly intense situations the elements swap roles and leapfrog onto the objective.
Once on the objective the assauting element moves beyond the position and prepares to defend against a counter attack.
Other manuever tactics for small units (Up to company sized) are: Movement by bounds and bounding over watch. Essentially as above but with one element stationary and prepared to fire if contact is made. Movement by bounds assumes alternating roles while bounding overwatch is a single moving assault with the base of fire element covering the entire advance.
These are offensive tactics and are very easy to comprehend on paper but very hard to train men to apply. You have to practice them over and over to get them down. Very few airsoft teams are willing to put in the time to learn them well enough to apply them without thinking.
That's not a critisism as even full time soldiers who train repeatedly every day of the week struggle to get good at it. As Airsoft hobbiests it's hard to find the time. The results and success level make it well wortwhile. It's fun to see the tactics effectively applied in a game setting. The team that is good at it can be quite overwhealming.
Stalin should have known communism wouldn't work. There were red flags everywhere!"
We spent the other weekend learning WWII British foot drill and small unit tactics including formations and chaging formations on the move.
We spent the whole afternoon dry fire then live firing section attacks and section flank attacks using the UK WWII gun group/rifle group system.
We also practiced the 'fight through' and re-org off the taken position with all round defence, all from the 1943 manual
at the end of the day we had a live fire ex against the waffen ss lads to put theory into practice.
I also taught the guys fire control order and Major instructed us on the Vickers mmg.. very good day in all.
Training schedule was thus: (bear in mind hand signal, section formations and a few things had been covered in the previous team training)
Phase 1 Activity: Drill Notes 9.30 - 11 Forming up in three ranks Coming to attention Standing at ease/easy Right + left turn at the halt Open + close order Salute at the halt Dismiss/Fall Out Forward March
Phase 2 Activity: Fieldcraft Notes 11 -12 Methods of Indictation / Fire control Methods of Movement Monkey Crawl Leopard Crawl Kitten Crawl Silent Walk The Roll
Phase 3 Actvity: Lunch Notes 12 – 12.45 Demonstration of Field Equipment Yith
Phase 4 Activity: Tactics Notes 12.45 - 2 Fire and Movement – Pairs Fire and Movement – Section Flank Attack The Section in Defence
Phase 5 Activity: Live fire exercise Notes 2 - 3 Live fire practice of above techniques Axis to supply enemy
"Infantry Tactics of the Second World War" by Stephen Bull and Gordon L. Rottman, Osprey Publishing, 2008, covers German, British and American organization and tactics fairly well. Check with Amazon or abebooks.com. I think you can find used copies for $10-12
"I used to be full of piss and vinegar. Now I'm just full of..." - Grandpa Simpson
How units were trained in the states vs how they learned to fight changed quickly. In the states there was much emphasis on aimed fire and target selection. When a fresh Infantry replacement arrived at the front he was quickly taught to fire his weapon at any suspected enemy location while advancing. More emphasis was placed on Volume of fire than accurate fire. The M1 Garand with its semi automatic fire and America's abundance of ammo made this possible.
When strong resistance was met American units typically fell back attempted to exploit a gap and failing that called in artillery or airpower. Unlike the movies. Whenever possible you preferred to have airstrikes come in parallel to your front and for artillery to come in from the oblique rather than directly overhead.
Even with the excellent M1 Garand the BAR with its 20 round magazine, full automatic fire and heavier barrel was considered to produced the firepower of four men. Hence whenever possible a Single BAR would provide the base of fire as the section moves and then the entire section would provide fire as the BAR team (2 men) move up.
US platoons had three rifle squads with one BAR each (in theory) and a weapons squad with two .30 cal MGs and 3 60mm light mortars. The German organization had a machine gun for EACH squad. For the Germans the MG was the primary casualty producer the squad defended and supported it. In US tactics the BAR was a suppressive weapon and the riflemen were the primary casualty producers. In the US the machine gun usually supported from further back during advances and was typically NOT allocated to a squad but rather organic to the platoon and fire directed by the lot leader or more often the platoon sgt. In defense MGs were not used until considered absolutely essential as their positions were not to be exposed uneccessarily.
Mortars were like the platoons own local artillery and were typically sighted and fired by the same element (a spotter looking over the downed log or sunken road the mortar was firing from and calling out adjustments orally rather than by field phone or radio). For US units radios were available at the Platoon level (handy talkie) and company level (man pack radio BC1000). German units would be lucky to have functioning radios at the Kompanie level relying on runners and field phones. For this reason attacks and counter attacks by German units were often fixed and inflexible. Unable to adjust to unexpected eventualities.
Stalin should have known communism wouldn't work. There were red flags everywhere!"
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