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RE: Mortars - 8/2/2011 12:36:27 AM   
DorianGray

 

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hmmm.... having first hand experience serving in a battalion level artillery fire direction control ( FDC ) unit, I have a hard time believing counter-battery fire rarely occurred in WWII. According to the following, it appears to have been a growing concern of the Germans -


Toward the end of September 1942, it was noted that the Germans in North Africa were increasing their precautions against British counterbattery fire. Among the methods used were these:

(1) Harassing missions by day were fired from roving gun positions in the open.

(2) Adjustments were made by using one or two guns sited on a flank.

(3) The fire of both light and medium batteries was directed into the same area at the same times in order to increase the difficulties of locating battery positions.

(4) Up to six batteries were fired simultaneously in order to confuse British sound-ranging. Dummy flashes are also reported to have been used, but this is not confirmed.

Another source of reference may be found here:

http://nigelef.tripod.com/tgtacqcb.htm


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RE: Mortars - 8/2/2011 12:58:09 AM   
Keke


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DorianGray

hmmm.... having first hand experience serving in a battalion level artillery fire direction control ( FDC ) unit, I have a hard time believing counter-battery fire rarely occurred in WWII. According to the following, it appears to have been a growing concern of the Germans


Who's claiming that it happened rarely?

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RE: Mortars - 8/2/2011 3:09:50 AM   
Mynok


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Pelton kind of insinuated that. Don't really buy it myself, but I'm curious how it was actually done. Can't see it being totally dependent on spotter aircraft.

Indeed, wasn't the whole point of guns vs howitzers that the former were primarily for counterbattery and the latter for barrage?


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RE: Mortars - 8/2/2011 7:58:49 AM   
Zebedee


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mynok


Pelton kind of insinuated that. Don't really buy it myself, but I'm curious how it was actually done. Can't see it being totally dependent on spotter aircraft.



Try a search for the Heer's Beobachtungsabteilungen. Up until December 39, they were divisional assets but then became Army assets. Sound ranging was a key part of how they identified enemy artillery positions. They also used light ranging - including sending men up in hot air balloons. They also functioned to help spot other targets for the artillery. Large range of specialised (including armoured) vehicles to move them and their equipment around the battlefield.

That's assuming that's what you mean. If you mean the math, something based around triangulation but math makes my head hurt and sure there'll be some artillery guys on here who can demonstrate the equations.

edit: this website might be of interest (now no longer in existance sadly). It's done by the grandson of a German soldier who served in two artillery observation units. http://web.archive.org/web/20060514223228/http://www.beobachtungsabteilung.derkessel.de/index.html

< Message edited by Zebedee -- 8/2/2011 8:02:42 AM >

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RE: Mortars - 8/2/2011 9:06:50 AM   
Tarhunnas


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Zebedee

edit: this website might be of interest (now no longer in existance sadly). It's done by the grandson of a German soldier who served in two artillery observation units. http://web.archive.org/web/20060514223228/http://www.beobachtungsabteilung.derkessel.de/index.html


Great info on that link, thanks for posting!

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Post #: 35
RE: Mortars - 8/2/2011 2:55:55 PM   
Mynok


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Indeed.

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Post #: 36
RE: Mortars - 8/3/2011 8:47:06 PM   
MechFO

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

quote:

That would certainly account for most of the "surprising" combat results that I've trying to get grips with. And indeed a sIG 33 can certainly ruin your day. Have you find that to happen as well to assault guns?


Results with AFV's involved normally seem more reasonable, especially with some quality AFV's that have a good main gun. The defending mortars might still do a number on the accompanying infantry, though. StuG casualties are generally pretty low and they provide decent support, like most medium/heavy gun AFV's.

quote:

EDIT: How does the range close during tactical combat? I think it starts at 3000 yards and then starts diminishing. Perhaps the fire and maneuver model should be sampled at intervals which are more fair to heavy weapons.


I don't know the precise formula for how the range closes, but it depends in part on the type of terrain and the type of forces involved and even though the range might close to, say, 125 meters that doesn't mean that all combat in that particular segment is at that range. One of the reasons why the Germans lose at least one PaK 36 in most battles regardless of how good the result is seems to be that there's always something firing at it even as the range closes (the AT gun stays at a few hundred meters from the enemy infantry, but heavy weapons still try to target it).

-

Perhaps one option would be to lower medium and heavy mortar accuracy to 100 (120mm mortars are now at 250, 50mm's are at 50 and ~80mm's are at 150)


Artillery should definitely be firing much more often than mortars, just because of range constraints. Unless f.e. a Division is actually being overrun, only part of the mortars would be able to be used at any one time. If this is not the case, Artillery should at least be much more effective. Lower mortar accuracy and increase Artillery accuracy might be a workaround.


Are any of the Devs looking at this?

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Post #: 37
RE: Mortars - 8/3/2011 9:57:56 PM   
Jakerson

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: MechFO
Artillery should definitely be firing much more often than mortars, just because of range constraints. Unless f.e. a Division is actually being overrun, only part of the mortars would be able to be used at any one time. If this is not the case, Artillery should at least be much more effective. Lower mortar accuracy and increase Artillery accuracy might be a workaround.


Are any of the Devs looking at this?


This is exactly what bothered me. It is harder to get mortars in combat when in need in high numbers because of their shorter range than artillery.

If army holds 50km front and all mortar battalions are deployed evenly in whole front then only one battalion can take part of combat when one part of front face offensive. Even if army have 2000 mortars and all of them are deployed south and enemy attack north none of them can take part of combat. While almost all artillery in army could support whole 50km front.

This is reason why mortar SU units should be a lot less chance appearing in combat than artillery SU units or a lot smaller partition of mortars shoot than artillery in combat.

< Message edited by Jakerson -- 8/3/2011 10:00:20 PM >

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Post #: 38
RE: Mortars - 8/3/2011 11:58:18 PM   
ComradeP

 

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quote:

Are any of the Devs looking at this?


We're currently (slowly) testing/working towards making the next batch of significant changes to the combat system/the game and how to make the effectiveness of mortars more historical is one of the things being studied currently.

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Post #: 39
RE: Mortars - 8/4/2011 3:20:11 AM   
pompack


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Mortars have a number of significant advantages over field artillery

1) Significantly more bang for a given caliber
2) Higher rate of fire than field artillery (for a short time)
3)Assigned at lower level than field artillery and deployed further forward which gave significantly faster response for the Russians
4) Ranged about as deep into enemy positions as field artillery (at least for the 120's) due to forward deployment

And they had one really, really major disadvantage that no one has mentioned:

They were deployed further forward than field artillery . This meant that it was quite difficult to supply them with ammo; instead of trucks hauling tons of ammo into the gun positions, the mortar shells usually had to be packed in via human backs for at least the last mile or so.

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Post #: 40
RE: Mortars - 8/4/2011 8:16:42 AM   
MechFO

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: ComradeP

quote:

Are any of the Devs looking at this?


We're currently (slowly) testing/working towards making the next batch of significant changes to the combat system/the game and how to make the effectiveness of mortars more historical is one of the things being studied currently.


Another factor you might want to look at is how ROF is treated in the game. The mortars all seem to have 12-15. 70-80 mm guns have about 10 (except ZIS-3 field gun which has 15?) which drops down to 6 for 100 - 105 mm and 4 for 150mm.

Mortar ROF seems to be burst fire, while Artillery ROF seems to be sustained fire? Either way, ROF should be similar for comparable calibres, except 120 mm mortars which should be in the 100mm range.

(in reply to ComradeP)
Post #: 41
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