Squad level firepower comparisons

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LineDoggie
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by LineDoggie » 10 Aug 2018 22:55

Brady wrote:
08 Aug 2018 06:01
French troops preferred the FM 24/29 to the BAR, and everything I have read on the subject has lead me to beleave that the BAR is not, at all, a LMG, they used it because they had nothing else and the A6 was a stab at a solution, the want being something more MG 42 ish, which is why I asked above about the BAR-A6 switch in late 44.
FM24/29 operating system derived FROM the BAR M1918. The French having the time to take from the BAR and change what was thought to be bad features into better ones
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by LineDoggie » 10 Aug 2018 23:04

Dili wrote:
08 Aug 2018 10:23
FM 24/29 had barrel replacement and was much more reliable than the BAR. No contest.
No, actually the FM 24/29 did not have a quick change barrel ala Bren or MG34/42. It had the EXACT same style of screwed to receiver barrel that the BAR had
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

LineDoggie
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by LineDoggie » 10 Aug 2018 23:13

yantaylor wrote:
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.
Between the wars US Ordnance did experiment with QC barrels, Pistol Grips, enlarged magazines, belt feeds but got nowhere with the skimpy budgets of the 30's

The FBI adopted the Colt Monitor rifle in 1931, a BAR M1918 modified-

Pistol grip trigger housing
Cutts Compensator
Shorter barrel (18")
http://www.smallarmsreview.com/display. ... icles=1929
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 11 Aug 2018 00:59

I've been delving back a bit further lately on US Inf Regt/Bn organisation prior to the 1942 model which evolved into the 1943-45 version.

The October 1940 Rifle Platoon was based on three Rifle Squads and one BAR Squad. The Rifle Squads were each to be 12 men, each and every man armed with an M1 rifle. The single BAR Squad was 8 men, with two BARs, two pistols (asst BAR men) and four rifles. Platoon HQ was effectively the same 5 strong group seen in 1942-45, but the Platoon was authorised 5 Basics so on paper it came out at 54 all ranks, of which only two men had automatic weapons. The officer and Sgt Pl Guide were to have pistols so the firepower was largely to be generated by the 48 M1 rifles.

The USMC mirrored the Army format to a degree in 1941-42, with three Rifle Squads and a BAR Squad (2 BARs), but the Marine Squads were smaller (9 men), had a BAR per Rifle Squad, and until into 1943 their rifles were predominantly M1903s.

The Army's FM7-5 of 1940 describes the BAR Squad in the offensive;

"The automatic rifles constitute a reserve of fire in the hands of the rifle platoon leader. They are put into action when conditions develop especially favoring their employment. Difficulties connected with ammunition supply restrict the use of these weapons to situations where their support is vital to the success of the platoon.

Situations especially favoring the use of the automatic rifles are offered where an open flank permits the establishment of a base of fire for the support of the movement of the rifle squads...

The squad is preferably put into action on the flank of a platoon. It intensifies its fires during periods when any part of it or any squad of the platoon ...is in movement."

In defensive use;

"The automatic rifles form the principle fire elements of the rifle platoon in the defense. Where an additional automatic rifle is made available, the squad forms three teams. The teams generally occupy separate emplacements so located as to cover the entire sector of fire of the platoon."

The reference to an extra BAR for use in the defence is mentioned later on in the manual, but there's no note of any part of the Inf Regt holding a spare supply in its Oct 1940 T/Os. This Platoon organisation was superseded before the US Army met the German Army in North Africa, by which time the US was on the 12 man Squad with 11 rifles and 1 BAR that remained in use until 1950?

I must admit I've never been a fan of the BAR, pairing a very modern rifle for its day in the M1 with a restricted automatic weapon designed for an entirely different type of warfare (circa 1918) always seemed an odd choice. Still, finding heavy criticism of the BAR during the war is (I think) difficult. The Marines liked it, but I think their higher allocation offset it weaknesses to a degree. And as much as I enjoy going over the various Section/Squad formats found, they were all working within Platoon, Company, Battalion, etc structures, which furnished them greater automatic weapon support and of course HE from mortars, guns and howitzers.

Gary

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Cult Icon » 11 Aug 2018 01:27

In German infantry divisions, their G41/43 semi-automatic rifles were given to the best rifleman in each battalion. These men trained on them and carried them into action. A lot of these weapons had scopes, so they were designated marksman.

The Garands had aimed fire rate that was more than twice that of bolt action. I think the advantage of the weapon was even more as the rifleman could shoot a barrage of rounds at the right moment. So it is interesting that the BAR was a ready reserve.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Richard Anderson » 11 Aug 2018 03:10

Thank you Line Doggie...you saved me having to post it. Of course, there is also the not so small problem that the Browning Automatic Rifle as designed was never intended to be either tactically or mechanically a light machine gun. It was an automatic rifle...notice that its in the name?
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Dili » 11 Aug 2018 05:09

LineDoggie wrote:
10 Aug 2018 23:04
Dili wrote:
08 Aug 2018 10:23
FM 24/29 had barrel replacement and was much more reliable than the BAR. No contest.
No, actually the FM 24/29 did not have a quick change barrel ala Bren or MG34/42. It had the EXACT same style of screwed to receiver barrel that the BAR had
You are correct i saw the excellent forgotten weapons video in youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORi4IZDK7jc and there is not an easy barrel replacement.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Aug 2018 16:51

This is a very interesting thread.

https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/i...il-i/&pageNo=6

in 43/44 these Panzer/PzG divisions generally have over 1,000 sub-machinguns, 100-900 semiautomatic rifles, 200-300 rifle grenade launchers

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 12 Aug 2018 21:07

I'm afraid that link won't open.

In general a Pz Div would have a high number of machine pistols as they were also carried on the bulk of AFVs. The nA and Type 44 Grenadier Divs had a large number of self-loading rifles and grenade launchers authorised in other than Rifle Pls/Squads. 489 grenade launchers, 1595 MPs and 822 self-loading rifles (I think) for the May44 version summary.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Aug 2018 21:26

https://www.forum-der-wehrmacht.de/inde ... /&pageNo=6

Only 19th Panzer division hit the 822 G41/G43 target. I don't think that any division hit 1600 MP.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Cult Icon » 12 Aug 2018 23:19

Zinegata wrote:
10 Aug 2018 05:19


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.
This is a good point, The reports in the link show :

-The rating of German panzer and PzG divisions with "KW" most heavily hinges on the General's opinion on the capabilities of the men. Material is important too, but secondary. There is great emphasis on discussing the leadership and training level of the troops. The availability of automatic small arms is barely if not discussed at all.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Cult Icon » 13 Aug 2018 13:02

per reading the same thread- the actual MGs at hand in the PzD/PzG were more or less at half of Target, not adjusted for the varying level of manpower (mostly heavily depleted). So around 300-600 MGs

-The unit history of the 17th SS PzG shows over 1,000 MGs for the full strength division prior to the Normandy landings. The 12th SS PzD had over 1600 (Target was over 1700)

-During most desperate times, the Panzer units that were refitted prior to the Konrad attacks in Hungary had about half of their MGs while being full strength in personnel. (Sword behind the Shield)

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 16 Aug 2018 16:10

Ok, Here's one we haveyet to look at, Or that I cant see that we have,

Fallschirmjäger Rifle Squad Circa 41,42,43,44

I often hear people saying that they had more automatic weapons than the other germen rifle squads did on the whole but it seams to me that they really did not ?

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Cult Icon » 16 Aug 2018 16:23

They had 2 x LMGs and pistols issued to every man in Krete. IIRC maybe 2 x MPi then or later on.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 16 Aug 2018 19:28

Well in those days they were dropping unarmed,apart from the pistols, later they were not, but I was thinking more about what would pass for normal when they were deployed as light infentry like in Normandy and Holland.

Or, during the drop in the Ardennes

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