Squad level firepower comparisons

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Dili
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Dili » 08 Aug 2018 10:23

FM 24/29 had barrel replacement and was much more reliable than the BAR. No contest.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Cult Icon » 08 Aug 2018 12:27

The 1919 LMGs in the US infantry company were contained in their weapons platoon. I've wondered about the 1 BAR per squad tendency as well- seems too lightly equipped and it's not like the US was wanting for production capacity or weapons.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by yantaylor » 08 Aug 2018 16:59

Gary Kennedy wrote:
07 Aug 2018 20:46
Thanks Yan. I've just got the British Infantry Battalion up there at the moment, all of the applicable WEs in full and as much info as I could pull together on signals kit and weapons and their ammunition allocations. Wish I could've done it that way 20 years back. It will take me a long time to get the same coverage I had before, but at least I've got the format sorted out. German Inf are next...

I will pull together the stuff for the US Para and Glider Coys for you, fingers crossed you should get a message by weekend.

Gary
Thank you very much Gary, it will be much appreciated.

Yan.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by yantaylor » 08 Aug 2018 17:07

I agree that the BAR was not in the sense a real LMG...but didn't the Belgians alter it to give the weapon a barrel changing system?
Didn't the Swedes and the Poles use a version with other stuff additions like a pistol grip and a belt feed?

I don't know why the US Army didn't ask Browning to make these changes available to them, so that they would have a BAR with a pistol grip, a belt feed and quick barrel changing capabilities.
It would have been lighter then the M1919A6.

Yan.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Hoplophile » 08 Aug 2018 17:57

Those interested in the establishments of the infantry units of the United States Army and Marine Corps will find much of value in a book written by my late friend, John Sayen. Called Battalion: An Organizational Study of the United States Infantry, this book was never published. A well-laid out version of the manuscript, however, can be found at the following link.

http://oninfantrycompanion.blogspot.com ... lions.html

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 08 Aug 2018 18:23

Hoplophile wrote:
08 Aug 2018 17:57
Those interested in the establishments of the infantry units of the United States Army and Marine Corps will find much of value in a book written by my late friend, John Sayen. Called Battalion: An Organizational Study of the United States Infantry, this book was never published. A well-laid out version of the manuscript, however, can be found at the following link.

http://oninfantrycompanion.blogspot.com ... lions.html
Sorry to ask, but the late John Sayen? I swapped emails with a retd USMC Lt-Col John Sayen towards the end of last year and he kindly shared some of his USMC T/Os with me. I can't think it was someone else I was corresponding with given the name and subject matter.

Gary

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Hoplophile » 08 Aug 2018 20:12

Dear Gary (if I may),

I'm sorry to report that we are, indeed, referring to the same person. John Sayen, USMCR (Retired), who was a very dear friend of mine, business partner (we published Tactical Notebook), and next-door neighbor, died this past winter.

I have taken on the task of ensuring that his unpublished works reach a suitable audience. In particular, I'm working with the Marine Corps University Press to publish his work on the organization of the Marine Corps during the First World War and, once that is done, hope that the same press will publish his study of US infantry battalions.

S/F

BIG

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 08 Aug 2018 20:24

Well that is truly sad to hear. I can't pretend we talked deep into the night but as I say he was most helpful in putting me in touch with the documentation I had been looking for, and filled in a few blanks from his own holdings. My sincerest condolences on his passing.

Gary

Dili
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Dili » 08 Aug 2018 23:58

Thanks for the link Hoplophile. Condolences on your friend passing.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Richard Anderson » 09 Aug 2018 00:41

Hoplophile wrote:
08 Aug 2018 20:12
Dear Gary (if I may),

I'm sorry to report that we are, indeed, referring to the same person. John Sayen, USMCR (Retired), who was a very dear friend of mine, business partner (we published Tactical Notebook), and next-door neighbor, died this past winter.

I have taken on the task of ensuring that his unpublished works reach a suitable audience. In particular, I'm working with the Marine Corps University Press to publish his work on the organization of the Marine Corps during the First World War and, once that is done, hope that the same press will publish his study of US infantry battalions.
That is very sad. I still refer to the Tactical Notebook now and then, you and John did excellent work. :(
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Leo Niehorster » 09 Aug 2018 20:20

My condolences to his family, and to you Bruce. Thank you for introducing him to me.
I am shocked! He did mention health issues, but not the terminal kind. He assisted me immensely with his vast knowledge of the WWII organization of the USMC. I will miss him.

RIP

__
Leo
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Zinegata » 10 Aug 2018 05:19

To the OP:

Not to spoil anyone's fun regarding discussing the various weapons equipping each nation's squad...

But I do have to note that squad-level combat tends to be very much determined by the men much more than the equipment. This is why descriptions of squad level actions tend to focus on particular individuals and how they acted in a fight (usually rather bravely / aggressively), rather than how "The XYZ squad weapon ripped through the enemy".

It's a less studied path because frankly people are more difficult to judge than a machine gun's fire rate, but I would say that a look at how squads were organized and reading small-unit actions would give you better insights into this. For instance German squads tended to assign the LMG to the squad lance corporal, who was generally one of the best members of the team and thus have a concentration of firepower at the hands of a squad member who would be most reliable in a fight.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 10 Aug 2018 07:07

Zinegata wrote:
10 Aug 2018 05:19
To the OP:

Not to spoil anyone's fun regarding discussing the various weapons equipping each nation's squad...

But I do have to note that squad-level combat tends to be very much determined by the men much more than the equipment. This is why descriptions of squad level actions tend to focus on particular individuals and how they acted in a fight (usually rather bravely / aggressively), rather than how "The XYZ squad weapon ripped through the enemy".

It's a less studied path because frankly people are more difficult to judge than a machine gun's fire rate, but I would say that a look at how squads were organized and reading small-unit actions would give you better insights into this. For instance German squads tended to assign the LMG to the squad lance corporal, who was generally one of the best members of the team and thus have a concentration of firepower at the hands of a squad member who would be most reliable in a fight.

It would tend to mitigate the effects of having a smaller squad I suppose later in the war

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Zinegata » 10 Aug 2018 07:43

Brady wrote:
10 Aug 2018 07:07
It would tend to mitigate the effects of having a smaller squad I suppose later in the war
It depends and it's hardly a situation unique to the late war.

For instance German rifleman strength was critically low by the first winter of their war in Russia - because while the losses were "relatively" light they were borne almost entirely by the frontline riflemen who were in turn just 1/3 of an Infantry Division's total manpower complement (the rest manned the heavy weapons like artillery and supplied them).

As a result some battalions resorted to deploying two-man "squads" that were armed with an LMG during the winter battles outside of Moscow. These units were completely incapable of any real offensive action, but at least they could hold stretches of frontline against Soviet infantry attack.

By contrast before then there tended to be two main elements in a German infantry squad during an assault - one of which was centered around the LMG to provide a base of fire, while the second element was the actual assault party that often relied heavily on grenades and maybe an SMG (perhaps ones captured from the Soviets).

Indeed, I'd note that grenades are rather underrepresented in most squad level combat discussions - in large part because of how badly video games represent real combat.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by LineDoggie » 10 Aug 2018 22:52

Dili wrote:
08 Aug 2018 04:29
I am still puzzled by the BAR, it is probably the worse LMG of the war, i can't see any worse unless we go to WW1 era Chauchat deployed by second line troops in some countries so i am wondering were they employed as lmg or more of a paradoxical ersatz prone assault rifle ...?
T'was designed as a Machine Rifle for the Walking Fire concept in WW1 and adapted into the section LMG by default prior to WW2.
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