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What the game makes me wonder about...

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What the game makes me wonder about... - 5/17/2012 11:07:06 PM   


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Now this is not directly game related but... when I play this game and see the T34 superiority I just don't get how the Soviets could lose especially regarding tank combat so badly in '41. I mean, if no German tank could reliably take out the T34 and since they had MORE T34 THAN ALL GERMAN MEDIUM TANKS AND STUGS COMBINED how can it be the Germans didn't lose basically all of their tank against these "monsters"?
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RE: What the game makes me wonder about... - 5/17/2012 11:31:15 PM   


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My understanding is at the outset of Barbarossa in 41, the Russians had about 1000 T-34's spread out on the front,  the Germans about 1000 Pzkf 3's and 4's.   The T-34's had the better armour advantage but thats about it.   The earlier T-34's wernt reliable mechanically, the small turret enabled only a crew of two in it, so the commander had to also serve as a loader.  Also the visibility for the commander was very poor.   Then the state of the army wasnt great either.  New green crews , freshly formed mechanised corps with inexperianced commanders(remember the purges)....

(in reply to alex0809)
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RE: What the game makes me wonder about... - 5/17/2012 11:33:22 PM   


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I read something like 90% of the initial T-34 losses were non-combat related. Something the game doesn't model but I believe Uwe (or someone) said that in the short timeframe of the scenario, if the T-34 actually made it to the battlefield, it's considered reliable enough to be mechanically sound through the scenario. In other words, don't play the scenario Monsters expecting them to break down!

(in reply to TheGrayMouser)
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RE: What the game makes me wonder about... - 5/18/2012 12:20:16 AM   


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Yeah, I cant see a squad of Germans hunkered down seeing a t-34 aproach from 50 yards away would be counting on that 16.5% chance of it blowing the clutch before they get pressed into the mud :)

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RE: What the game makes me wonder about... - 5/18/2012 12:36:34 AM   


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I believe the Germans also had access to their 88 Flak at the time. But not positive.


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RE: What the game makes me wonder about... - 5/18/2012 1:40:14 AM   


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the germans had no answer for the t34 or the was imperious to any AT the germans fielded in 41. So tactically the 34s and kvs couldn't be beat, and there are stories of individual kvs holding up the advances of entire battalions. So the game, which is a small, tactical level game, gets the armor/AT values exactly right imho. But just as the germans had no answer to the t34s, they also had no answer to the char b1 or the souma on the French front. But operationally or strategically these advantages meant nothing. Neither the russian tanks or french had radios, poor leadership and poor doctrine and they lacked air support. So once we get planes in this game, some 88 flaks, some weapons cards! the kvs and t34s will be able to be dealt with. And they can be dealt with now,proper tactics, use of groups, caps, and good cards, those tanks can be beat, and throw in a flak gun and you will be ok-course the monster scenario could use an 88 f36!.

< Message edited by raizer -- 5/18/2012 1:45:36 AM >

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RE: What the game makes me wonder about... - 5/18/2012 4:33:50 AM   
Jim D Burns

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No game I’ve ever seen has ever modeled the situational awareness (or lack of it) aspect of a crewed tank in WWII adequately. Without a radio, Soviet tanks were virtually blind to anything going on outside of their immediate view. Only platoon commanders had radios early in the war and that wasn’t always the case, sometimes only one or two tanks in a battalion had working radios.

What this all boils down to is tankers had to keep the command tank in their view at all times to stay in touch with command. And if the lone tank with a radio was destroyed, you basically had no way to receive orders and were unable to react to enemy maneuvers in time to be of any operational use.

So sure, head to head a T-34 beats a Pz III most of the time, but due to a complete lack of real time battlefield info that T-34 probably found himself facing Pz IIIs appearing unannounced on his flank and thus the odds were no longer in his favor.

Good situational awareness means you get your tank in position to face the enemy so your advantages can be put to use. Lack of it means the enemy has the ability to take those advantages away from you and place himself in an advantageous position.


< Message edited by Jim D Burns -- 5/18/2012 4:34:49 AM >


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RE: What the game makes me wonder about... - 5/19/2012 4:15:19 AM   
Duck Doc

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Interesting discussion this game has sparked. I too have tried to understand how the T-34 if invulnerable in 1941 when massed was not successful in the counterattack. All of the descriptions of the battles indicate the Soviet armor counterattacks were successfully attrited by the Germans but there are no detailed & specific descriptions of how exactly they accomplished it. I have heard about radios or the lack. I suspect the Germans employed better combined arms tactics & enjoyed better command & control allowing them to control the tempo of battle & not get steam-rolled by the counterattacks. Maybe it was the employment of artillery & even tactical air strikes (Stukas) which did the trick. I have seen Youtube footage of German infantry attacking T-34's & KV's (recall it was a training film) but I cannot imagine relying on infantry to close assault wave after wave of attacking T-34's . Maybe the inverse is true that the Soviets had such terrible combined arms coordination they were unable to keep infantry from assaulting the tanks. Regardless I would love to read descriptions of the early battles showing exactly how they played out. I have also read that the Soviets were successful in counterattacking at Smolensk & Barbarossa indeed failed there. Maybe the T-34 triumphed in the end. Maybe in the end it was simply attrition. It must have been hell on both sides.

If anyone knows of specific descriptions of the battle I would love to read them. Glantz while good at the describing the forest can't or won't talk much about the trees.

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RE: What the game makes me wonder about... - 5/19/2012 5:33:05 AM   


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I believe I read an early account of such an encounter in General Raus' book when he was with AG North. But it's a little foggy now. It could have been Henrici.


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RE: What the game makes me wonder about... - 5/19/2012 12:30:26 PM   

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Tank Crew experience and German superiority in warfare at this point of the war.

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RE: What the game makes me wonder about... - 5/19/2012 1:08:42 PM   


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German soldiers had nearly two years of experience fighting by the time of Barbarossa. They were well organized and had worked out the kinks in their command and logistics systems in Poland, France and the Balkans. They'd perfected their tactical approach in France, where they did face tanks that were better than they could field.

The Russians, on the other hand, were ill-prepared for the fight. The T-34s, as mentioned, were limited by lack of radios and the turret layout, and were spread out across the front. The supporting vehicles and troops were usually badly trained and ill-equipped to support the tanks. The purge of the officer corps before the war left the surviving leaders timid and inexperienced. And the majority of Russian tanks on the field were NOT the T34 or KV. All this meant that any tactical superiority provided by the better Russian tanks was local and short term. A T34 was only a threat when it had ammunition, but when the supporting units melted away and supplies were no longer available, they were no longer invulnerable.

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