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Destroyer Brigades - 8/27/2012 12:26:41 PM   
The Red Baron


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I just started the Uranus scenario as the Soviets, and I noticed these Destroyer Brigades. At first glance they look like a balanced formation; good blend of tanks, infantry, AT guns, artillery and organic transport; however, the infantry (400-600 per BDE) seems too weak to be effective in an offensive role and about half of them lack enough organic transport to move using motorized movement costs. I am just curious how other players have used them? Offensively? Defensively? As a means to increase you concentric attack bonus? Anyone know how the Soviets used them historically?
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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/27/2012 12:39:33 PM   
High Krausen


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Soviet usage varied during the war, they were initially (late '42-'43) used as direct fire support on the offensive. Later in the war, with the advent of the SU85, and SU100 they were used as tank hunter units. DCCB adds in an infantry component that was not a part of the unit's TO&E.

< Message edited by High Krausen -- 8/27/2012 12:40:45 PM >


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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/28/2012 3:04:10 AM   
aspqrz

 

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Excellent to know. Will delete it as I work on the Soviet OOB/TOE!

Hadn't come across organisational details for the Destroyer units. In fact, as I have said before, organisational details for a lot of Soviet units don't seem to exist ... online at least ... and those that do are, well, contradictory and useless are such ugly words

One thing I have noticed is that Vic has added 122mm Howitzers to Infantry Regiment TO&Es which, depending on whether they are Independent or part of a Rifle Division, gives them something they had none of or doubles the amount they had. And the first Tank units I have looked at have Infantry in them they didn't have ... and no transport for them, slowing the units down (unless Soviet tanks have a transport capacity? have to check their sftype!)

Phil

< Message edited by aspqrz -- 8/28/2012 3:07:24 AM >


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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/28/2012 12:30:08 PM   
High Krausen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: aspqrz
Hadn't come across organisational details for the Destroyer units. In fact, as I have said before, organisational details for a lot of Soviet units don't seem to exist ... online at least


I found them buried in 'Red Army Handbook' by Zaloga and Ness

quote:

One thing I have noticed is that Vic has added 122mm Howitzers to Infantry Regiment TO&Es which, depending on whether they are Independent or part of a Rifle Division, gives them something they had none of or doubles the amount they had.


I think he's folding division artillery into the regts, since Rifle divisions have no arty rgt.

quote:

And the first Tank units I have looked at have Infantry in them they didn't have ... and no transport for them, slowing the units down (unless Soviet tanks have a transport capacity? have to check their sftype!)


They generally had a desant company that rode the tanks (or whatever transport they could scrounge) for each tank bn, so the sft type should have modest transport capacity.

What I find more distressing is the mixture of tank types in the soviet bdes. KVs were rare in the brigades. Generally being limited to independent tank bns or a few specific brigades. The majority of brigades (that were not equipped with lend lease tanks) in '42-'43 were 1 bn of T34s and 1 bn of T60s (early '42) or T70s (late '42) and generally heavier on T34s. I posted a TO&E elsewhere. I've got to go to work but will try and find it and post a link later

< Message edited by High Krausen -- 8/28/2012 12:40:14 PM >


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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/28/2012 12:38:29 PM   
The Red Baron


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The infantry component in the game might be necessary for play balance purposes? I've read several Glantz books, but I don't ever recall him mentioning these brigades. I wonder how other players employ them? Given their size, lack of mobility and no divisional bonus, they seem like a fifth wheel.

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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/28/2012 3:14:17 PM   
aspqrz

 

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Yeah, I finally figured out that Zaloga's book has TO&Es and have ordered it by middle-fast speed from Amazon so I can do some checking ...

Folding the support elements of the Rifle Division would make more sense ... taking the Mortar, Artillery, AT and AA Battalions into such a unit and leaving the Infantry Regiments with only their organic 76.2mm Infantry Guns (which he has modelled as Field Guns, incorrectly, or has left out the integral IGs, dunno which) would give ...

Rifle Division Support Unit (DCCB): 3 (15) x 76.2mm Field Guns, 2 (10) x 122mm Howitzers, 4 (20) x 120mm Mortar, 1 (5) x 37mm AA, 2 (10) x 45mm AT Guns, 2 (200) x Infantry and 2 (200) x Support Troops

That begs the question ... how do we deal with the 3 Rifle Regiments? For the Germans and for Axis Allies I have reorganized units to reflect the number of Regiments they have ... typically 2-3 Infantry and 1 Artillery ... even if this means the creation of relatively weak Regiments for the Axis Allies.

Following that logic, I should do this for the Russians ... so a Rifle Division would have 3 x Infantry Regiments and 1 x Support Element ... but is that giving them too much flexibility?

Rifle Regiment: 25 x Infantry, 1 x 76.2mm Infantry Gun, 1 x 45mm AT Gun, 1 x 120mm Mortar (the latter only from late 42/early 43)

Now, of course, as people have pointed out, TO&E strengths for Russian units are particularly problematic.

For reinforcement units coming on the map, that shouldn't be a problem.

For units on the map *at start*, unless we can get accurate figures for a significant %age and hand mod them, the best bet would be to be able to apply a big enough randomising factor in the setup phase as part of the game mechanics.

Phil

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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/28/2012 3:17:12 PM   
aspqrz

 

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I just noticed a sort of lefthand mention of Tank Brigades in the Editor manual ... Vic indicates that he gave them Infantry they didn't have because the AI has a tendency to leave them alone in a hex ... where they are extremely vulnerable without Infantry ... I presume the same reasoning gave the Destroyer units Infantry they didn't have.

Maybe it would be better to let the chips fly, and leave off the infantry?

Phil

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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/28/2012 4:46:07 PM   
High Krausen


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Here's the link to the TO&E discussion mentioned earlier



quote:

ORIGINAL: aspqrz

Rifle Division Support Unit (DCCB): 3 (15) x 76.2mm Field Guns, 2 (10) x 122mm Howitzers, 4 (20) x 120mm Mortar, 1 (5) x 37mm AA, 2 (10) x 45mm AT Guns, 2 (200) x Infantry and 2 (200) x Support Troops

That begs the question ... how do we deal with the 3 Rifle Regiments? For the Germans and for Axis Allies I have reorganized units to reflect the number of Regiments they have ... typically 2-3 Infantry and 1 Artillery ... even if this means the creation of relatively weak Regiments for the Axis Allies.

Following that logic, I should do this for the Russians ... so a Rifle Division would have 3 x Infantry Regiments and 1 x Support Element ... but is that giving them too much flexibility?


I like the 3 rgts + support element, and I think it will not give too much flexibility as long as the support elements are combat ineffective except when used in the proper role. You might limit the support element to Artillery only, and spread the AA, AT, and Mortars amongst the three regts...I don't have a feel for it...testing will tell

quote:

Rifle Regiment: 25 x Infantry, 1 x 76.2mm Infantry Gun, 1 x 45mm AT Gun, 1 x 120mm Mortar (the latter only from late 42/early 43)

Now, of course, as people have pointed out, TO&E strengths for Russian units are particularly problematic.

For reinforcement units coming on the map, that shouldn't be a problem.

For units on the map *at start*, unless we can get accurate figures for a significant %age and hand mod them, the best bet would be to be able to apply a big enough randomising factor in the setup phase as part of the game mechanics.


I agree, if we can randomize them to start at 30-50% of TO&E that would probably be right. Finding accurate historical numbers I expect will be impossible. Reinforcements at or near full TO&E but with abysmal morale and readiness would be appropriate


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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/28/2012 5:05:09 PM   
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There is a fascinating book called um..Commanding the Red Army's Sherman Tanks: The World War II Memoirs of Hero of the Soviet Union Dmitriy Loza. You can read an interview with him here:

http://english.iremember.ru/tankers/17-dmitriy-loza.html

He talks about how the tanks were protected by a submachinegun unit in combat, although his memoirs are mostly 1943 and on.

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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/28/2012 6:08:43 PM   
High Krausen


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quote:

ORIGINAL: LiquidSky
He talks about how the tanks were protected by a submachinegun unit in combat, although his memoirs are mostly 1943 and on.


Nice Link, That would be the Desant troops which were drawn from the Motorized Rifle Bn in the Brigade.

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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/28/2012 10:36:10 PM   
Plain Ian

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: aspqrz

I just noticed a sort of lefthand mention of Tank Brigades in the Editor manual ... Vic indicates that he gave them Infantry they didn't have because the AI has a tendency to leave them alone in a hex ... where they are extremely vulnerable without Infantry ... I presume the same reasoning gave the Destroyer units Infantry they didn't have.

Maybe it would be better to let the chips fly, and leave off the infantry?

Phil


As long as you make it obvious that the mod is suited to pbem play then I think this is a good move. It sound like most of the OOB anomalies were done in order to help the AI.

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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/30/2012 2:37:49 AM   
The Red Baron


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quote:

ORIGINAL: LiquidSky


There is a fascinating book called um..Commanding the Red Army's Sherman Tanks: The World War II Memoirs of Hero of the Soviet Union Dmitriy Loza. You can read an interview with him here:

He talks about how the tanks were protected by a submachinegun unit in combat, although his memoirs are mostly 1943 and on.


I read this book a few years ago. I still have it in my collection. It was very good. I remember Loza commented on the Soviet drive through Austria or Czechoslovakia (don't remember which) at the end of the war. The Shermans were moving over the roads so fast for so long that some of the track shoes caught fire or started smoldering. His unit had to stop to replace what shoes they could and let the rest cool down for several hours before resuming the advance. Now that's armor used in the pursuit role!

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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/30/2012 9:33:41 AM   
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Reading that interview makes me miss the lend-lease tanks in DCCB

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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/30/2012 10:10:05 AM   
aspqrz

 

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Were any of the units in the Case Blue area equipped with Lend Lease equipment?

I would have said "If they are, I can mod them!" except for the fact that it seems there is a 150(ish) limit to the number of UNITS that the game can handle as part of MODELS ... and I have used all of them up for the Axis side.

I can probably rationalise some of the multiple unit types and salvage, maybe, 5-10, at a preliminary guess ... maybe more if I take the SPI "War in the East/War in Europe" route and treat all Infantry Divisions (Jager, Luftwaffe etc.) as 6-5 units, so to speak ... but modelling all the variety that could be modelled can't be done unless the upper limit on the number of UNITS can be, somehow, circumvented.

Maybe I've simply missed something in the way the Editor works. Or maybe Vic can (and will?) change the limit (assuming I am right, and it exists), and I can then add all sorts of OOB/TO&E goodness ... in the meantime, I'm stumped and can't do a whole lot.



Phil

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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/30/2012 10:17:39 AM   
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I have no idea if they were used in CB to be honest, I just think that more variety is always a good thing.

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RE: Destroyer Brigades - 8/30/2012 10:31:59 AM   
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In general, a guards tank unit would be equipped with lend lease shermans, but this is a bit early for the shermans. I know there were some Matilda's and other British tanks at the time of Kharkov in some seperate tank battalions, and at Uranus, there was 21 Matilda's in the 164th Tank Brigade/16th Tank Corp. The ones at Kharkov were destroyed in the battles, and there really isnt very many to make a fuss about.

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