From: Oakland, California
Game makes following assumptions.
Squad or section as called in Europe was 8 to 15 men and based around a light machine gun. Pretty much true for most armies of period. The machine gun provided most of the fire power and all others in squad supported that gun. Bren gun, DP LMG, MG-34 and MG-42 are all assumed to be light machine guns. Squad size was large, because it was believed that with only 4 or 5 men were in squad, one casualty could eliminate squad (the LMG) as fighting force. With 10 or 12 men they would not feel as threatened by the loss of a man or two.
U.S.A. never developed a real light machine gun, before the war and had different philosophy. It was planned that by arming all troops with semi-automatic gas operated weapons, a squad would be able to place as much fire as a platoon of regular troops. Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) was added for use against recalcitrant targets and given armor piercing ammunition. Later in war, most squads ended up with two or three BARs, as the need for a light machine gun became apparent, even with semi-automatic rifles. Later in war, some units were armed with .30 MMG and bipod in LMG role.
U.S.M.C. found that they could actually base fire around automatic weapon, with only four men. This was the beginning of the fire team and three were formed in each squad. They started around the BAR. When I served, the fire team was composed of the M-60 operator, the rifle man, the radio man and the fire team leader. The M-60 could be used as a light machine gun with bipod or medium machine gun, with tripod and a three man crew. It was based on the MG-42, which was also used as a light or medium machine gun.
< Message edited by Mike Wood -- 1/13/2007 10:05:10 AM >