The term "MMG" refers to a (Vickers) medium machine gun, right?
@TMO: According to what I've read so far a Rifle section had a rifle group and a gun group, the latter (3 men) being equipped with 1 Bren.
"Bayonetstrength" mentions this too, so an Inf Bn would have had 27 Bren MGs, and an entire Division 243 Brens.
It doesn't look like Inf Bns had Vickers MMGs at their disposal, though. Those were purely divisional assets. Parts/Sections of MG battalions could be attached to Bde's or Bns at the discretion of the Div. Commander.
That said, British Inf Bns were somewhat "underpowered", means they had serious disadvantages in house-to-house fighting throughout Europe, because of the lack of automatic/semi-automatic weapons, thus Inf line units assaulting urban areas could often only advance if they called in tank support, in cases where MMG support wasn't available.
The only submachine gun issued to a rifle section was the one issued to its leader, the corporal.
@Dave - OOB, number of MMGs, range:
"During the Second World War, machinegun support was again provided by specialist units. Upon mobilization, one machine gun battalion was assigned to each brigade of infantry; by the time the units went into action, only one machine gun battalion was assigned to each Division. Three machine gun companies, with three machine gun platoons of four Vickers guns each, as well as a heavy mortar company, made up the MG battalion.
In Korea, Vickers Guns were assigned directly to the infantry battalions, in a specialist Vickers platoon. "
"Divisional MG Battalion 1944-45":
"Divisional MG (Support) Battalion"
The latter was a formation with 3 "Support Groups", with each group consisting of 1 MG Coy only, 1 AA company (16 x 20mm Oerlikon?) and 1 Mortar company with only 2 mortar platoons. This setup was rather unusual and disliked by Div. Commanders + troops, it seems.
- Number of MMGs:
A MG battalion (1943-1946) had 3 MG Coys (with a total of 9 MG platoons) and 1 Mortar Coy (4 platoons). Each Bn had 36 MMGs.
The Vickers MMG had a range of up to 4500 yards (!).
Let me quote the British Small Arms Manual, page 9:
ORIGINAL: "SMALL ARMS MANUAL" by Brigadier J. A. Barlow, S.A.C., The West Yorkshire Regt. and Lt.-Col. R.E.W. Johnson - the London Rifle Brigade. Printed and issued in 1944.
"The Medium Machine-Gun.
Since this weapon is normally mounted on a heavy tripod its accuracy can be relied upon at ranges considerably greater than those attained by the L.M.G. or the rifle. In the case of the Vickers gun this increase in accurate range is enhanced by the fact that special (Mark VIII) ammunition is used which makes it possible to employ the gun in a miniature artillery role at ranges up to 4,500 yards.
The medium machine gun should, therefore, not be wasted on short-range tasks which can be undertaken with L.M.Gs. (or, even by riflemen), but should be used in bursts of not less than 20 rounds, the length of burst increasing up to about 30 rounds."
Note: The owner of this Manual added some interesting notes on the last pages of the manual ("Notes" section), a collection of penetration values for different small arms / calibres.
You can download the manual here: http://www.badongo.com/file/7513521
"In addition to direct fire, Vickers Guns were often used indirectly; this type of fire was first used in the First World War. During Operation VERITABLE in Feb 1945, Vickers Guns added their fire to the "pepperpot" supporting fire that was used during the largest artillery operation of the Second World War. Vickers Guns had also "thickened" the barrages leading up to the assault on Vimy Ridge in April 1917."
Is this (maximum) range of the Vickers rendered in BFTB?
This reminds me of my queries regarding the range of German Inf guns (example: 75mm le IG 18 = 3800 meters, s.IG 33 = 4650 meters - in indirect fire mode), and PoE's query regarding the range of 88mm Flak guns (in direct fire mode - in an AT role).
Are these ranges and fire modes (I almost forgot to include over-calibre AT grenades for the IGs) for the IGs considered in BFTB?
Sorry for the necropost, but I see this thread has been recently bumped, and I also notice my website has been directly quoted here. Actually, one comment jumps out at me:
"That said, British Inf Bns were somewhat "underpowered", means they had serious disadvantages in house-to-house fighting throughout Europe, because of the lack of automatic/semi-automatic weapons, thus Inf line units assaulting urban areas could often only advance if they called in tank support, in cases where MMG support wasn't available."
I don't understand why people think the British were somehow disadvantaged that their MGs were in separate battalions, and to claim that there was a disadvantage in "house-to-house" fighting seems illogical on the face of it. I understand this is three years after the fact, but I'd challenge anyone reading this now to produce some kind of evidence or discussion of that point. It seems to me that urban warfare was something of a rarity both in Italy and NW Europe (needless to say, the Western Desert also), and of all the descriptions I've read, a criticism along the lines of lack of heavy machine gun fire has never been one of them. Canadians were involved in two real divisional level city fights; Ortona and Groningen and prevailed in both cases. They were involved in some fighting in the outskirts and suburbs of Caen also. The British fought in Caen and Hamburg with some other notable fights such as Geilenkirchen. Were they really disadvantaged?
I'd have thought that the increasing use of flame weapons would have been of more advantage in "house-to-house" fighting, and other "funnies" such as the AVRE. The quote makes it sound like calling in tank support was soemthing to be avoided; on the contrary, tank-infantry cooperation was the model towards which efficient formations strived.