From: Cologne, Germany
In the real world, I just don't see a supply truck trying to get to a unit when enemy forces are 200-300 (or less) meters away. (Military folks feel free to correct me.)
I'll take the liberty of correcting you there...
There are quite some accounts from German veterans describing resupply operations within distances of 500 meters and even down to 200 or 150 meters, during the Ardennes offensive, for example. Similar emergency re-supply procedures were carried out in Russia, especially in urban areas.
For example, I've read an account of a group of tanks (6-7 tanks, ~4 Panther, 2 or 3 PzIV, IIRC) that entered a village (I don't recall the name) in the Ardennes, where the leading unit did not detect any enemy troops. Additionally, the left side/flank was protected by a long row of houses.
When the spearheading vehicle entered the village's main crossroads, it received AT gun fire from the left side right away, somewhere from an uphill position, so the gun must have been placed in the woods right next to the outskirts of the village (means a couple of houses up the road). The distance to that gun was ~500 meters. The AT gun turned out to be a US M1 57mm AT gun. It started to fire round after round immediately after the tank had entered the crossroads, not one round penetrated, though. The tank tried to turn and returned fire, but could still not locate the gun, and then a 2nd 57mm joined in and scored a hit either with the first or the 2nd round (that one probably had a few APDS rounds), which knocked out the tank immediately. While the crew bailed right before the tank caught fire (they had seconds only), the second tank pulled forward and got knocked out too. The 3rd tank pulled forward just enough to provide some cover for the bailed/wounded crew members, but got damaged in the process, as there were AT rounds flying all over the place, barely missing some of the crews, which led the tank crews to think that there may have been a 3rd gun.
The CO of the group gave order to pull out, leaving the tank crews behind (they ran/walked back to German lines, but had to hang in for a while, as the guns started to plaster the area with HE, supported by MG fire). The damaged tank limped back to German lines IIRC, but the remaining tanks just pulled away from the crossroads, back to the outskirts where they had entered the village to guard the entrance and ordered a resupply truck, since some tanks of the group had been low on ammo before they had entered the village, already.
The truck appeared and resupplied at a position less than 350 meters away from the AT guns (straight-line distance), but since truck and tanks were covered by houses, the position was not accessible to the guns. The tanks then got order to pull out and regroup, as they had lost at least 1 Panther in the process, if I am not mistaken.
Similar "close" fuel supplies were delivered in order to resupply tank units here and there, too, and that's quite understandable, if you take into account that fuel was delivered in canisters on trucks, while the HQs/depots used to hold the barrels - the German Army didn't use tank trucks. Such trucks were only used by the Luftwaffe, and were usually residing on the airfields, exclusively, or they were used to "plunder" German gas stations, in order to collect idle fuel, prior to the Ardennes offensive.
A funny example for supply vehicles getting close to the shyte would be the account of a quartermaster bringing out some beer to a German tank unit in North Africa (I think early 1942), which got stuck for a couple hours due to lack of fuel (a common event during the North African campaign, some Coys or platoons had to wait 12 hrs, or even more) within range of British arty spotters. The guy kept passing beer bottles through the top turret hatch, even after arty fire kicked in on the unit's position. He really wanted to jolly the crews along, while they were waiting for the fuel, I guess.
< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 5/18/2012 9:37:54 AM >
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
8th of August, 2006