Matrix Games Forums

To End All Wars: Mountain InfantryPandora: Eclipse of Nashira Announced! Deal of the Week: Command Ops goes half price!New Fronts are opening up for Commander: The Great WarCharacters of World War 1Sign of for the Pike and Shot Beta!More Games are Coming to Steam! Return to the Moon on October 31st! Commander: The Great War iPad Wallpapers Generals of the Great War
Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> Steel Panthers World At War & Mega Campaigns >> The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/3/2005 5:54:39 AM   
KG Erwin


Posts: 8900
Joined: 7/25/2000
From: Cross Lanes WV USA
Status: offline
In real-life terms, Steel Panthers is a misnomer. The guys who fought WWII were primarily infantrymen, and the biggest killer of them was artillery. It really wasn't that much different from WWI, except in that the machine-guns got so much better in between the wars. The tank offered a shield from which the infantry could hide behind the enemy machine guns, and the tanks could suppress or destroy the enemy MG nests.

Eventually, armored personal carriers were developed, but these were not designed for troops to fire from the vehicles. They had to dismount and once again hide behind the tanks.

The biggest difference is in airpower. I've said it again and again, but the German blitzkrieg would not have been possible without the effect of the dominance of the air that they established in 1939-41. I still think that SPWaW falls short in this, but c'est la vie. We have what we have. It is up to scenario and campaign designers to set this right.

Note: as a long campaign player, I DO occasionally see airpower made available, but the weather, depending on theater, often keeps the planes on the ground.

< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 1/3/2005 12:23:25 AM >


_____________________________

Post #: 1
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/3/2005 11:34:39 PM   
pappasmurf


Posts: 55
Joined: 9/27/2004
Status: offline
KG I would dissagree. While infantry still did most of the work it was the tank thsat changed warfare. WW1 was not a mobile affair. yet WW2 with only a few exceptions in the west and Rusisa at least was one giant war of movement. This is do to the tank more than air power. From the calavry like manuvers of the panzer from 39-43 to pattons mad dashes from mid 44-45 the infantry dealt with things after the tanks fixed em, pinned em and bypassed em. Some of the best infantry exploits came not in slogging through the mud but in being used in depe penetration mssions. The airborned came of age. Suddnely the fornt lines were not the only place fighting could occur. Both tanks and the airborne were repsonsable for this. We should not judge a war bu who fought the msot but by whose fighting had the geatest impact.

(in reply to KG Erwin)
Post #: 2
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/4/2005 12:09:25 AM   
KG Erwin


Posts: 8900
Joined: 7/25/2000
From: Cross Lanes WV USA
Status: offline
Ok, maybe the truth of the matter is somewhere between both our viewpoints, pappasmurf. Both the airplane engine and the tank engine revolutionized warfare in the 20th century, but my main point was that airpower is underplayed in SPWaW. This may be a blessing in disguise, as tac air, when it's available in-game, is VERY powerful. This is probably the reason why it can only be used in one or two turns, dependent on the scenario type.

As for the poor bloody infantry, maybe I'm just spending too much time slogging through the jungle.

_____________________________


(in reply to KG Erwin)
Post #: 3
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/4/2005 1:09:11 AM   
Svennemir

 

Posts: 542
Joined: 11/2/2001
From: Denmark
Status: offline
I tend to agree with KG Erwin on the point that SPWAW focuses too much on tanks. It is true that the tank was of vital importance in mobile operations as demonstrated numerous times, but in SPWAW tanks dominate almost every battlefield (certainly every OPEN battlefield), which was hardly the case in reality. Then again, tank battles *are* quite entertaining. About the air power, some advantages were gained on a scale which cannot quite be portrayed in a tactical game like SPWAW: disruption of communications on a larger scale is an example. The inability to move forces effectively to the battlefield due to enemy air power.

One thing about aircraft which annoys me in SPWAW is that even though I hide stationary vehicles in a deep forest in a VALLEY, just to avoid enemy aircraft, they invariably get get smashed up by enemy planes. Even spotting one would be virtually impossible from the air! But I digress... the non-air aspects of Steel Panthers still rule the world of strategy games.

(in reply to KG Erwin)
Post #: 4
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/4/2005 1:23:21 AM   
Tombstone

 

Posts: 766
Joined: 6/1/2000
From: Los Angeles, California
Status: offline
I think both of you guys are just a bit off the mark here. Tanks and airplanes were a really important addition to the development of warfare theories during the period, but I think that the most significant change in WW2 was an increase in willingness and technology to accomodate an improvement in strategic mobility. SPWAW is a game, and if we wanted to get into the myraid ways in which it falls short of portraying real combat we're in for a long night. Massive use of trucks had a larger impact on the nature of operations during WW2 than either the airplane or the tank. I think that German panzer divisions were able to make a comparatively larger impact than infantry divisions because of it's organic trucks. Motorised divisions in 1941 played just as important roles in the fast advance as the panzer divisions. Certainly we can all agree that the internal combustion engine had a collosal impact on WW2, but none of it would have mattered if the armed forces of the world weren't ready to organize their forces to take advantage of it.

WW2 is the coming together of conceptual maturity and technology to improve strategic mobility for the application of force.

Tomo

(in reply to Svennemir)
Post #: 5
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/4/2005 10:02:56 AM   
pappasmurf


Posts: 55
Joined: 9/27/2004
Status: offline
KG, yes air power is under played in SPWaW but thats because it is a ground combat game, and air power was not always avialable. When it could be used en mass it was devestating.

And yes you spend to much time slogging though the jungles

Svennemir, When I played the AI I thought as you did. Now however after playing people. I wont move a tank with out infantry suport and if at all possible udner the coverign fire of other tanks or ATG's. The best way to kill kat is the M-1 garand. Sup[ress the hell out of it so the crew jsut sits there then clsoe assualtt he beast.

Tombstone,
I dissagree about the truck. Not because you are wrong but because the earne \d it's honors abnd came of age in WW1. From the very first days of combat the paris taxi dash to the La Route at Verdun. While the tank was sued in WW1 it doid not come of age until WW2. I will conced that the truck was the magor wepaon of the US Army but when we go east to Russia it became less of a factor and rail and horseshoe still dominated. Disregarding the apcific wich after allwa sonly a side show to the main effort of everyone but the Japanese. the tank is decsive if for no more reason than how it dominated the strategic thinking. As an example the allies were prepared to sacrafice every single paratrooper dropped into Normandy if it meant keeping the Panzers off the beach. in the desert Monty didn't ask for more trucks when Rommel advanced he asked for more tanks and carried supplies in what ever he could find. Tanks and other AFV's domianted the thinking. even the stuka was developed to support the panzers as flying artillery. The advent of SP arty, FAC's, and mech infatry were all in repsonce ot the tank. event he need for trucks was due to mechanised warfare. Now I do agree with this " WW2 is the coming together of conceptual maturity and technology to improve strategic mobility for the application of force." 100%

(in reply to Tombstone)
Post #: 6
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/4/2005 4:11:38 PM   
Danny Boy


Posts: 78
Joined: 12/15/2004
From: Dorset, England
Status: offline
Guys,

The game is called 'Steel Panthers'....not Steel Trucks ...or Steel Wings!

I think the basic idea of the original game was to have fun with 'Tanks' and blow other stuff up!

We are now fortunate in that the game has been developed beyond the original to provide more entertainment and has become more realistic by virtue of all of us wanting more and more. Who knows what we will all be playing in another 10 years?

However, IMO, you only have to look at modern warfare to see where we've come from and where we are going.
WW2 saw the inf AT weapon come on in leaps in just over 4 years....(if any of you play SPMBT you will know just how deadly the modern infantryman can be...to both tanks and aircraft) and why was that...it was because the humble grunts needed their own portable tank busting capability rather than rely on calling up air or tank support just to knock out a couple of forward probing APC's.

I think that so many aspects of warfare changed in those six (Yeah guys...1939 was when it started) years that it would be difficult to actually nominate one overall type of warfare that led the others, but if I had to, I would say that it was airpower that ended the war as the most dominant factor...as it was airpower that started it. And just to make a greater point...how many of you have read 'Red Storm Rising'?....airpower?...nuff said.

Cheers!

_____________________________

... "'Broadsword', stop shagging around and get on with the mission!"

(in reply to pappasmurf)
Post #: 7
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/4/2005 5:31:13 PM   
omegaall


Posts: 316
Joined: 7/28/2003
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Danny Boy

Guys,

The game is called 'Steel Panthers'....not Steel Trucks ...or Steel Wings!

I think the basic idea of the original game was to have fun with 'Tanks' and blow other stuff up!


That seems to cover the game well..

If you must go more realistic try Brigade Combat Team or BCT Commander but you will have to pay for that, its not free like SPWAW.

On the point of WWII & and WWI both are based on the concept of gaining and holding ground. What ever you might think or say neither a tank or plane can hold ground. That is if you care to look at the role of the poor old grunt is their main role. It is of little consequence if a Sqn of tanks race forward for hundreds of miles if they can not hol dthat gain. hence the event of transport of teh grunt, It does not matter if that is by truck APC or horse so long as he is there to hold the ground.

The huge change between WI and WWII was the initial realisation that the combined effort of ground and air was the best way to move quickly, something called cooperation. WWI saw the benifits of the tank when the battlefiled was not blown to bits by a 4 day arty shelling. Cambri is a good example of the tank at its WWI best. Also no shelling by arty.

The tank provides speed with penetration but it must be followed up by the holder of ground, Infantry, who also need arty for support hence the collective drive to provide fast transport for the infantry and also SP guns to keep up.

Don't over rate the tank nor underate the infantry. Treatt air power ar special arty always working in conjunction with the ground forces collectively.

By the way this logic all falls to pieces when you hit things such as Viet Nam, and the current issues in Iraq. Holding ground meansd little in these conflicts.

War is messy and unpleasent .. play the game and enjoy the cleaness of it all.

(in reply to Danny Boy)
Post #: 8
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/5/2005 2:52:46 AM   
Svennemir

 

Posts: 542
Joined: 11/2/2001
From: Denmark
Status: offline
quote:

Svennemir, When I played the AI I thought as you did.


If you want to kill AIs efficiently, just use infantry and ATGs at any non-open objective area of the map. The AI will run its vehicles into them blindly and die, and will be easily defeated (if no good close assault weapons exist at the time, tanks may be necessary though). Then you can take the rest of the map. But playing the AI is extremely boring since it does this each and every time (in generated battles, that is).

I've played quite a few PBEM/hotseat games, and my observations are that tanks and ESPECIALLY infantry are both necessary in order to fight efficiently, of course depending on the map. When I said that tanks dominated almost every battlefield in SPWAW, I merely meant that the amount of tanks was disproportionate to that of infantry, compared to real combat where tanks appear much more rarely. In my first PBEM games I relied solely on foot infantry most of the time, tanks appearing only late during surprise pincers movements when the opponent did not expect to find them. Still, they were necessary in the sense that the infantry wouldn't be able to catch the enemy tanks on retreat.

Now I'm already off the subject, but one favourite tactic of mine is to let a thin line of infantry advance, such that the enemy will have to engage them in close combat to pass. If the enemy chooses to attack the line hoping to break through at some point, I quickly mass armour behind a forest or hill nearby, then strike at a moment when many opposing vehicles are engaged in fight with the infantry, or are (unwisely) advancing past the infantry. At this moment, artillery will hit the enemy forces and a large amount of fast tanks, preferably loaded with infantry, will overrun the locally outnumbered enemies.

Concentration of force is the key here. Stealth, too - the enemy must not know what will happen. Of course the enemy can easily claim the middle objectives, but the infantry will reach them in time to force the enemy to act at some point.

(in reply to omegaall)
Post #: 9
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/5/2005 6:53:22 AM   
Major Destruction


Posts: 879
Joined: 8/10/2000
From: Canada
Status: offline
There are too many historical references that point to armour weakness in the face of determined resistance by infantry. From small actions (for example the Italian regiment that held off a far superior British armoured force at el Alamein) to large actions (for example the Finnish defiance against superior armoured forces when the USSR invaded)
time and again it is a determined defender that brushes aside armoured attacks.

Well-trained and battle hardened forces are better but it is the determination of men that makes the most of a situation.
Read........

Peter Mansoor - The GI offensive in Europe- The Triumph of American Infantry Divisions 1941-1945.
and
Harry Yeide - Steel Victory - The Heroic Story of America's Independent Tank Battalions at War in Europe
and
John Mosier - The Blitzkreig Myth

_____________________________

They struggled with a ferocity that was to be expected of brave men fighting with forlorn hope against an enemy who had the advantage of position......knowing that courage was the one thing that would save them.

Julius Caesar, 57 BC

(in reply to Svennemir)
Post #: 10
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/5/2005 6:05:29 PM   
RockinHarry


Posts: 2948
Joined: 1/18/2001
From: Germany
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: KG Erwin

In real-life terms, Steel Panthers is a misnomer. The guys who fought WWII were primarily infantrymen, and the biggest killer of them was artillery. It really wasn't that much different from WWI, except in that the machine-guns got so much better in between the wars. The tank offered a shield from which the infantry could hide behind the enemy machine guns, and the tanks could suppress or destroy the enemy MG nests.

Eventually, armored personal carriers were developed, but these were not designed for troops to fire from the vehicles. They had to dismount and once again hide behind the tanks.

The biggest difference is in airpower. I've said it again and again, but the German blitzkrieg would not have been possible without the effect of the dominance of the air that they established in 1939-41. I still think that SPWaW falls short in this, but c'est la vie. We have what we have. It is up to scenario and campaign designers to set this right.

Note: as a long campaign player, I DO occasionally see airpower made available, but the weather, depending on theater, often keeps the planes on the ground.


I can agree with you in every respect! SPWAW is more of a (fun) wargame than a realistic simulation of ground warfare. It always was. Like you said, as scenario or map maker you can do a lot to make things more realistic, but it´s mostly a matter of taste what lets you enjoy the game most. Personally I would like to see infantry having no smoke loads (as in the Combat Mission game), artillery effects enhanced to include VT fuses and tree bursts (well...just like in the Combat mission game hehe ) and and and....

Terrain is also made to improve playability (movement warfare) and to give the AIP a chance to deal with it. Personally (as most of you know already) I prefer more difficult and realistic terrain, so i stick to play or design my own stuff instead of anything out of the box or made from the "mainstream" designers. Thus the future of SPWAW is what the users make of it. SPWAW is a modders paradise and IMHO many of the design capbilties are not exploited as much as they could.

I also think that lots of potential still lays in the making of user campaigns, as the Red Steel and Das Reich makers already proofed!

_____________________________

RockinHarry in the web:

http://www.myspace.com/rockinharryz
http://www.youtube.com/user/rockinharryz
https://www.facebook.com/harry.zann

(in reply to KG Erwin)
Post #: 11
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/6/2005 12:32:36 AM   
KG Erwin


Posts: 8900
Joined: 7/25/2000
From: Cross Lanes WV USA
Status: offline
For those who want to study the evolution of combined arms warfare, there's a number of downloadable publications available here: http://www-cgsc.army.mil/carl/resources/csi/csi.asp

I just downloaded Jonathan House's monograph "Towards Combined Arms Warfare: A Study of 20th Century Tactics, Doctrine and Organization". It is a 235-page PDF document (27.4 MB).

As an aside, I would venture to say that every military historian/lecturer one would ask would have a different opinion about the most important developments in the military art over the last 100 years.

(Addendum: after perusing the introduction to Capt. House's monograph, he develops the themes that many of us have touched upon. I had mentioned at another time that SP:WaW should actually be called "SP: Combined Arms at War 1930-49". This is the beauty of tactical games, in that the interaction of varying arms and the quickly-changing technology of the WWII era demonstrate the interdependence of these weapons systems in achieving ultimate victory. Tanks alone didn't do it, nor did airpower, nor the increasing effectiveness of man-held AT weapons and man-made fortified structures--it was how it all worked together.

Until I started working with the OOB team, I didn't really understand the nuts & bolts of WWII-era tactical ground combat. I learn something new everyday, and this is another aspect of SPWaW I love--it encourages further study. As many well know, this can be a life-long educational experience.)

< Message edited by KG Erwin -- 1/5/2005 6:27:00 PM >


_____________________________


(in reply to KG Erwin)
Post #: 12
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/6/2005 12:41:03 AM   
KG Erwin


Posts: 8900
Joined: 7/25/2000
From: Cross Lanes WV USA
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: RockinHarry

...the future of SPWAW is what the users make of it. SPWAW is a modders paradise and IMHO many of the design capbilties are not exploited as much as they could.

I also think that lots of potential still lays in the making of user campaigns, as the Red Steel and Das Reich makers already proofed!


You are right, Harry. Designers who worked under the tutelage of Wild Bill Wilder (amongst others) are the ones who carry on the legacy. The possibilities of this game are far from exhausted, which helps confirm the status of Steel Panthers (and its succeeding variants) as an all-time classic of the wargame genre.

_____________________________


(in reply to RockinHarry)
Post #: 13
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/9/2005 3:10:14 AM   
Randy

 

Posts: 1172
Joined: 8/22/2000
From: Torrance, Calif. USA
Status: offline
Realisticly speaking in terms of infantry the game could be called Regimental Combat Team, or Sqaud Leader (that sounds familiar!). But when the game came out in 95/96 the name "Steel Panthers" had quite a ring to it. At that time the game was competing against other WWII computer games. Needless to say SP and its versions is one of the few left! As I have said many times before, this game has lasted because of its ability to be played in many different ways. You can go all tank, all infantry, or any variation you want. This game will last for a long time!!

_____________________________

Semper Fi
Randy

The United States Marines: America's 911 Force-The Tip of the Spear

(in reply to KG Erwin)
Post #: 14
RE: The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat - 1/10/2005 5:47:53 AM   
pepek

 

Posts: 8
Joined: 12/15/2004
Status: offline
i think the greatest difference and improvement of wwII compared to wwI is the massive use of radios and with it the improvement of the cc possibilities the comanders in wwII had.
the blitzkrieg campaigns of the germans were only possible cause every german tank had a radio, one tank sees the enemy the whole brigade comes down to kill it.

_____________________________

mind over morale

(in reply to Randy)
Post #: 15
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> Steel Panthers World At War & Mega Campaigns >> The Misconceptions of WWII Ground Combat Page: [1]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.100