From: Cologne, Germany
ORIGINAL: Armored Force Field Manual
b. If an armored division or separate tank battalion is attached to a larger unit, it is the responsibility of the larger unit to establish supply points within practicable hauling distance. This distance should not exceed 35 miles on ordinary roads from the bivouac of the most distant unit to these supply points. If roads are bad the distance must be shorter.
c. Frequent missions for armored troops are to disrupt the supply lines of the enemy, to hamper his evacuation, and to destroy his communication. To accomplish these missions, supplies frequently must be pushed beyond exist- ing rail or road facilities. This presents a tremendous prob- lem for the army supply services and engineers. While it is the responsibility of the army to push supplies within practicable hauling distance of the division, anticipatory planning by the division G-4 to determine the probable requirements for the operation and coordination with Army G-4 will insure an adequate flow of supplies without which no armored operation can be successful.
d. The armored division obtains its supplies directly from army supply points. The armored corps is an administrative agency for corps troops only and is not in the chain of supply except when acting independently. The corps also secures its supplies from army."
A trip from a unit's bivouac to the supply point (ASP or F&L Dump) was not supposed to exceed 35 miles, as 70 miles for a round-trip was set to be the max. distance, to cater for the tank units' corresponding travel ranges on different types of terrain.
Btw, the Field Manual also points out, that a Corp did not have supply bases/depots, as it was an administrative body only, just like its German counterpart. I outlined that in a detailed logistics and supply base article here in this forum, before BFTB was released, but that piece of historical info did not make it into the game.
The Logistics Manual 17-50 also provides detailed marching orders and methods not just for administrative marches and their planning, but also for tactical formation prior or during combat (eg. "infiltration", or during night marches (eg. "open column", with less friendly units being spotted, when enemy flares illuminate the area):
"HALTS AND BIVOUACS.
The order for the march will provide for halts at stated regular intervals to provide for relief of men and for inspection of vehicles. Usually a halt of 15 minutes is made at the end of the first 45 minutes of marching. Subsequent halts are for 10 minutes and are made at the end of 1 hour and 20 minutes or 1 hour and 50 minutes. The halt for lunch and refueling is usually of 45 minutes to 1 hour duration. The time for the halt is taken from the time leading vehicles of the march unit stop (not when the commander dismounts) until that vehicle resumes its forward movement.
(6)Drivers, especially of full-track vehicles, should be changed frequently. Halts offer an excellent opportunity to make this change. Changes of drivers should not be limited to an exchange-of duties between drivers and assistant drivers, but should include all members of the crew. This is especially true on a very long day's march and on marches of several days' duration."
While German armored and infantry units had to perform forced marches in France in 1940, in Russia, in France 1944 and especially during the last months - in 1945 - again, US infantry often had the luxury to have enough transports at their disposal. While I doubt that an American armored unit halted after 45 mins, and then after 1 hr 20 mins., or 1hr and 50 minutes, means in accordance with the manual, especially when time was of the essence, it's a fact that US and German tank crews had a dedicated assistance driver (in German tanks the radio operator, usually, the loader in rare cases), who was able to handle the tank in non-combat situations, at the very least.
It's pretty hard in BFTB to have a wheeled/tracked unit engage during the day and relocate at night, or the other way around, without it getting too fatigued, which is pretty inaccurate, historically.
Fatigue may and will have an impact on the ability to muster an attack, or on actual combat performance itself, but should not have an impact on the ability to move. There's a huge difference between 8 hrs of marching by foot, and 8 hrs driving (ie. sitting) in a car or tank. Especially in late 1943, early 1944, tank ventilation in medium and heavy tanks had been improved a lot, which made long marches halfway bearable.
In turn, mounted infantry units may have had sore bums after say a 6 or 7 hrs rides in trucks, but could still be considered "fresh", as they had not been committed to combat, yet. That's where an "unmount" feature would add to realism, since the type of the unit could then change to "foot", with the fatigue level changing correspondingly.
-(1) Armored units will frequently march at night to avoid air observation and attack. Also the threat of a hostile mechanized attack may cause armored units to march at night. Marches in the combat zone are usually made at night.
Night marches will be used frequently when secrecy or surprise is desired and to avoid long range interdicting fires.
(2) Night marches require careful and thorough planning. When hostile observation is active, night marches may be made without lights. When it is desired to march at night without lights, it is better to begin the march without lights or turn lights out at a halt and permit drivers' eyes to become accustomed to the darkness before moving out than to turn the lights out while the column is moving.
Marching on dark nights without lights materially reduces the rate of march of any column. It will vary from 5 miles per hour on poor roads and across country to 10 miles per hour on good roads. When marching at night with lights or in bright moonlight without lights, the rate of march is about the same as marches in daylight.
(3) To maintain close contact and communication between and within march units, distances between vehicles are reduced during night marches. When hostile air attack may be expected, it may be desirable to dispatch groups of about five vehicles with minimum safe distances between vehicles and maintain an average density of about 20 vehicles to the mile. The particular advantage of this method of night movement is, that should the column be attacked, only a small part of the command would suffer losses. This method of movement is predicated on the march objective being secured by friendly troops.
(4) As night marching, under the most favorable conditions is difficult, the following measures should receive careful attention during the planning and conduct of the march. These points have equal application irrespective of the type or method of marching employed:
The following points (a) etc. are a list of detailed precautions and procedures (eg. recon of route and alt. route, traffic control, planning etc.), which are so detailed, they'd just distract from my initial point:
The CO engine should feature night marching and take into account that night marches (and subsequent daylight attacks) were vital parts of historical movement procedures and attack plans.
That means that a wheeled/tracked unit should be able to march at night at full range, but with a speed penalty, according to the assessed speeds in the manual (ie. 5 miles on bad roads and 10 miles per hour on good roads) when marching without lights. There should also be a reduction of the column's visibility, as it would be harder for the enemy to spot it (if at all).
In turn, if lights are used, the enemy should be able to spot a friendly column way more easily, as reflections can even be seen even through/behind woods (depending on its density), whereas a column inside/behind a wood would be invisible during daylight, for example.
In order to improve marching speeds and security of vehicles at night, German vehicles had removable caps on their lights, which looked like little observations slits, reducing the light cone to a narrow horizontal line, which made it very hard for Allied night fighter/night bomber planes, - as well as for Allied ground units, to some extent - to spot them.
If these details would make it into the game, there should be a button next to the order buttons for marching speeds, like "night march" (on/off) and "lights" (on/off).
< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 7/4/2013 3:07:34 PM >
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