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6 pdr anti-tank gun - 9/5/2008 5:12:35 PM   
TMO

 

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Just fired up HTTR again and have noticed that as currently modelled the 6 pdr AT gun has no HE capability. I think this may be an oversight as I believe HE rounds for this weapon were introduced sometime in 1943(?). Will this omission be rectified for BFTB?

Regards

Tim
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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 9/5/2008 10:14:28 PM   
Arjuna


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Tim,

What's your source reference for that info. It's certainly at odds with what I recall. If the average 6pdr unit did have a regular HE capability then we can change it. But I'd like to be sure first.

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 9/6/2008 9:21:48 AM   
RayWolfe

 

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I have never read of an account of 6 pdr being used in an HE capacity, however a quick look suggests that the capability was there:
http://www.ra39-45.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/guns/page5.html
Cheers
Ray

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 9/7/2008 8:48:57 PM   
TMO

 

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Cheers Ray

A quick 'Google' will bring up several credible sources that sugest 6 pdr's had HE capability from '43, though I don't have any primary sources I can quote. Will let you know when/if I find them - I'm sure 'Golf 33' could help here.

Regards

Tim

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 9/8/2008 3:02:14 PM   
TMO

 

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Here's a good website:

http://members.tripod.com/nigelef/anti-tank.htm

You'll find references to 6 pdr HE ammunition here.

Also, take a look at this:

http://www.thetroubleshooters.com/80th/aladeen0001.html

It clearly mentions 6 pdr HE rounds.

Regards

Tim

< Message edited by TMO -- 9/8/2008 3:44:49 PM >

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 9/8/2008 11:29:10 PM   
Arjuna


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Tim, yes I know they had the capability but whether it was commonly used in combat is another thing altogether.

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 9/9/2008 1:51:53 PM   
TMO

 

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I agree with you and the word 'commonly' is very important. However, the following (from http://members.tripod.com/nigelef/otherfp.htm) suggests use may have been significant:

quote:


Anti-tank guns were operated by artillery, infantry battalions and divisional reconnaissance regiments.  Those provided by artillery were in divisional anti-tank regiments with additional regiments were commanded by higher formations and allocated as required.  The other arms had one or more platoons per battalion.  Initially anti-tank guns were limited to armour piercing ammunition.   However, in early 1944 HE ammunition was authorised for direct fire tasks.  The concern had been that too much HE would mean too much wear to the anti-tank guns and consequently lose accuracy for their anti-tank role.   The HE ammunition scale was:




6-pdr

up to 25%


1st line 96 rpg, all types

17-pdr

up to 5%


1st line 90 rpg, all types

3-in M10

up to 30%


1st line 90 rpg, all types
This led to anti-tank guns increasingly used in their secondary role for direct fire against hard targets such as bunkers, 'pill-boxes', MG posts, snipers in houses, OPs, etc.  In effect a similar role to assault or infantry guns in other armies. This first happened in N Africa at the beginning of 1941 using 37-mm Bofors.  However, 'concrete busting' with 17-pdr became fairly usual in Italy and M10s were also found to be very useful for dealing with strongpoints such as houses or bunkers.  Other uses included troops behind light cover, soft skinned vehicles, nuisance harassing fire and cutting wire obstacles.  These targets would normally be engaged with direct fire, at least until they became obscured by smoke and dust when there was the option of changing to indirect fire.

 
Not conclusive by any means though but interesting nevertheless.
 
Regards
 
Tim
 
 

< Message edited by TMO -- 9/10/2008 3:15:36 PM >

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 9/10/2008 12:41:33 AM   
Arjuna


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Tim,

What's their source?

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 9/10/2008 3:15:49 PM   
TMO

 

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Not sure what source he is quoting from for the above quote but sources are listed at:

http://members.tripod.com/nigelef/sources.htm

and links at:

http://members.tripod.com/nigelef/linkspg.htm

By the way, came across this on Amazon:

Mars and Venus: Memories of a Gunner, 210 Battery (Worcestershire Yeomanry) 53rd Anti-tank Regiment, Royal Artillery, Territorial Army
by Jack Creed, Robin Bird

I'm thinking of getting it.

Regards

Tim

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 9/10/2008 4:10:08 PM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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This makes it sound as though CW used it differently than US:

http://www.efour4ever.com/57mm.htm

PoE (aka ivanmoe)

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 9/10/2008 4:31:07 PM   
TMO

 

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Prince

Does doesn't it? Interestingly, lack of HE round for US guns and the interchangability of US and British rounds fits in with the info at:

http://www.thetroubleshooters.com/80th/aladeen0001.html

Regards

Tim

< Message edited by TMO -- 9/10/2008 4:33:19 PM >

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 9/10/2008 5:04:25 PM   
Agema

 

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Ah, I thought the 2/6/17-pounders were almost never supplied with HE (although it existed), although I've not got a source I'd count as authoratative.

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 2/6/2009 10:12:23 AM   
Golf33

 

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LOL. Thanks for the plug, but I've been out of the loop so long I can barely remember which side used the 6pdr ;-)

Game looks great so far, obviously none the worse for my bowing out!


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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 2/6/2009 9:13:42 PM   
TMO

 

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Golf33

Remembered you were an artillery expert - thought you might be able to help. Nice to hear from you again.

Regards

Tim

< Message edited by TMO -- 2/6/2009 9:14:31 PM >

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/11/2009 7:16:13 PM   
TMO

 

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Dave

quote:

Tim, yes I know they had the capability but whether it was commonly used in combat is another thing altogether.


Found this on the History Channel boards:

quote:

http://boards.history.com/topic/World-War-Ii/Us-Army-57mm/218317


If you read through the posts you will see quotes of the 57mm a/t gun being used for infantry support using HE rounds (though one vet reports only ever using solid shot). I'd like to request that you include an HE capability for the 6pdr/57mm a/t gun in BFTB, the coming Normandy game and HTTR upgrade. How about an allocation of, say, 10-20% of ammo being HE. Note that the quote about it's limited effectiveness due to the small amount of HE in the projectile: it probably won't make much difference but it all adds to the authenticity.

Regards

Tim

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/15/2009 4:18:29 PM   
TMO

 

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More instances of 6 pdr anti-tank guns using HE in this article:

quote:

http://www.89infdivww2.org/memories/brandell_10.htm


Regards

Tim

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/16/2009 12:37:40 AM   
Arjuna


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I'm still not convinced Tim. As pointed out above the American 6pdr units never used HE. I think we'll leave it without the HE capability for BFTB. But thanks for the research and the discussion.

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/16/2009 3:10:37 AM   
sapper_astro

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Arjuna

I'm still not convinced Tim. As pointed out above the American 6pdr units never used HE. I think we'll leave it without the HE capability for BFTB. But thanks for the research and the discussion.


What sources did you use to believe they did not?

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/16/2009 5:54:04 AM   
Arjuna


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Sapper_astro,

Nice try! Next....

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/16/2009 7:11:18 AM   
TMO

 

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Dave

Don't understand your comment:

quote:

As pointed out above the American 6pdr units never used HE.

The sources I quoted clearly state that they did use HE!

Reading around (don't have any sources to hand) it seems that US forces did not have an HE capability for their 57 mm until after the Normandy campaign, the British though did. Hope you change your mind.

Regards

Tim

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/16/2009 9:38:42 AM   
Arjuna


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Tim,

I don't mean any disrespect, but just because someone mentions something on a forum, including the History Channel, is not IMO a sufficiently reliable source. In general we rely on primary sources or good secondary sources.

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/16/2009 9:57:39 AM   
TMO

 

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Dave

No offence taken - you are quite right about quotes from the internet (something I discourage my students from doing - though a bit of scepticism about any published source never goes amiss!!). If I get any evidence from more traditional/more reliable sources I'll let you know.

Regards

Tim

< Message edited by TMO -- 6/22/2009 4:27:04 PM >

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/16/2009 1:44:47 PM   
Arjuna


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Thanks Tim...much appreciated.

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/16/2009 6:40:48 PM   
TMO

 

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Dave

According to various web references (don't groan ) the British had APDS for their 6 pdrs from June 1944 and for the 17 pdr from September/October that year. The US, I believe, never developed such a round. My question is: are you able to model British and US 6 pdr/57 mm armour penetration differently (i.e. British APDS equipped gun has better armour penetration than its US equivalent) or does the engine have to treat them both the same as it's essentially the same weapon?

Regards

Tim

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/17/2009 12:41:39 AM   
Arjuna


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For now they are the same. We would need to create a seperate weapon and then change it throughout the estabs.

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/17/2009 7:52:11 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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British 6-pdr gun units used HE ammunition.

I've seen a documentary (BBC i think), where a British vet stated that US AT-crews tried to make British AT troopers trade their APDS ammunition whereever possible. The Brits didn't like to pass their APDS rounds, though, but they did it, especially since they could count on their 17-pdrs, and the Brits received praise as feedback from the US units, as this ammo turned the US 57mm M1 into an effective AT weapon. The brits got HE ammo in return. According to this vet, these trades were pretty common.

US ordnance issued HE rounds to US AT gun units, regularly.

"US anti-tank artillery, 1941-45" by Steven J. Zaloga, Brian Delf
page 36, paragraph "The Test: Anti-Tank Guns In The Battle Of The Bulge":

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=EhB0V_zTfJQC&pg=PA36&vq=6+pdr&dq=US+Anti-tank+Artillery+1941-45.&hl=de&source=gbs_search_s&cad=0

quote:

ORIGINAL: S. J. Zaloga

"Some idea of the use of the guns can be determined by their ammunition expenditure. In case of the 57mm gun, about 20 percent of the 57mm ammunition used by the First Army from August 1944 to February 1945 was high explosive, while the remainder was anti-tank ammunition.
In the late autumn of 1944, 57mm guns began receiving small quantities of APDS (armor-piercing discarding sabot) ammunition. This was 6-pdr ammunition obtained from British stockpiles, rather than US ammunition. The APDS used a sub-caliber projectile within a sleeve that peeled away after leaving the barrel. This increased the muzzle velocity by nearly 50 percent, and so could penetrate 160mm of armor at 500 meters compared to only 112mm for the normal armor-piercing round. This ammunition was much prized for dealing with German tanks."


So US units actually had HE, and had sufficient numbers to share.

But even more important, the quote above and the following part both illustrate that it's necessary to render the US M1 57mm and the British 6-pdr differently in the estabs:

While the British made several revisions, incl. the development of a light-weight version (6-pdr MK-III) for their airborne units, and, afaik, an improved barrel (IIRC a shorter barrel), the US AT units were still using the original version of the M1 (derived from the original 6-pdr gun).

Zaloga stresses that a US study concluded that self-propelled tank destroyers were "five to six times more effective than the towed guns, and that the towed 3in guns were successful in only two out of nine defensive actions".

Some of the reasons:

  • high weight making relocation and quick setup difficult,
  • trucks/halftracks towing the guns - and the crews operating them - were pretty vulnerable even to small arms fire when relocating the guns,
  • the common type of AT round was the AP round, while APDS rounds were in short supply (i am not sure if the US produced 57mm APDS rounds at all), rendering the US guns less effective than the 6-pdrs (firing APDS) employed by the Brits,
  • the US did not develop a light version for the airborne divisions (which would have been quite useful for regular inf units, too).


Zaloga illustrates the 2 roles of these guns (within the US forces) - AT-combat and infantry support - and the reduced effectiveness against German tanks by quoting a Regimental officer who (along with other survivors of the 2nd Infantry Division) got interviewed by the "War Department Observers Board" - in late January 1945:

quote:

"He also noted that the 57mm gun was used as often as not for targets other than tanks, and recommended that the basic ammunition load be 25 rounds of armor-piercing, 25 rounds of high explosive and ten rounds of the new sabot anti-tank ammunition. The other officers of the 2d Division interviewed by the observers unanimously agreed that the towed 57mm gun should be replaced by self-propelled guns"


This recommendation regarding the ammunition-"mix", of course, was just a proposal in front of the observers board, as the actual use of ammunition from 1944-45 (means the contingent of HE ammo used in the field - as pointed out by Zaloga in the first quote - using the First Army's expenditure ratio) was pretty different.

I should add, that - quite surprising - 57mm guns performed well and did the trick at La Gleize - it seems, in the late stage of that German offensive. I have no info about what type of AP round had been used there, though.
Other than that, the US 57mm guns had a really bad ratio, unlike the British guns.

According to wikipedia (yeah yeah, i know....), prior to the Normandy para-landings, the US obtained British 6-pdrs (for the 82nd and/or the 101st), where a division then employed 8 of these guns in divisional artillery, 24 in the AA battalion, and 18 in the glider infantry regiment. PIR units did not have AT guns.
There is a chance that this Wiki-entry is correct.... I can't be arsed to check several books now tho, but either Zaloga or Chamberlain might shed some light on the question whether the US airborne units were really using the lightweight 6-pdr (MKIII) or not, and if they were still in use in the Ardennes.

Whatsoever, the US M1 and the British 6-pdr should be seperate guns, estab-wise, as the ammunition-"mix" was different, as the 6-pdr had offered way better penetration values (with APDS) and as the Brit. 6-pdr was a bit different weapon (shorter barrel for the later versions = reduced weight, other improvements) in 1944/45.
In case that the 82nd and the 101st had really used the 6-pdr MK-IIIs, then the estabs would have to reflect the fact that these guns were relatively light: they could be pulled by jeeps (or troops), unlike the 57mm M1.

If i am not mistaken, elements of the Glider Inf Regiment were at Bastogne when the Germans surrounded Bastogne, so if some of its AT elements still had the 6-pdrs MK-III and if they were part of the defending force-mix, this should be researched and (if true) changed in a BFTB Bastogne scenario.
The MK-IIIs may have fired AP rounds mainly (and not APDS), but these guns were way more mobile than the US 57mm M1, so I think it would make a difference and it would be worth to include that detail (if historically correct) in the scenario's force list.

According to Zaloga, the typical deployment/engagement of 57mm guns had already changed during the German retreat from France, in autumn 1944, as the AT units did not encounter "sufficient" numbers of German tanks anymore.
This new type of usage culminated in heavy consumption of HE rounds at the Siegfried line, where Tank Destroyers and 57mm guns were used to suppress targets and cover the infantry's progress through the dense line of enemy defenses.

So, TMO is right regarding APDS (UK) versus AP (US), and I think he is right regarding the HE used by British units, it may just need some digging in Chamberlain's/Zaloga's work, to see to what extent HE was used by the Brits.

< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 6/17/2009 2:47:29 PM >


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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/17/2009 4:15:07 PM   
TMO

 

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Goodguy

quote:

According to wikipedia (yeah yeah, i know....), prior to the Normandy para-landings, the US obtained British 6-pdrs (for the 82nd and/or the 101st), where a division then employed 8 of these guns in divisional artillery, 24 in the AA battalion, and 18 in the glider infantry regiment. PIR units did not have AT guns.
There is a chance that this Wiki-entry is correct.... I can't be arsed to check several books now tho, but either Zaloga or Chamberlain might shed some light on the question whether the US airborne units were really using the lightweight 6-pdr (MKIII) or not, and if they were still in use in the Ardennes.


Check out p.41, US Airborne Divisions in the ETO 1944-45, By Steven J. Zaloga, Duncan Anderson:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=UxSUxWg96xsC&pg=PA41&lpg=PA41&dq=6 pdr british anti-tank artillery 1944&source=bl&ots=RQNSWwxozp&sig=5sYtYauQz8b6y1ytDO7WuhEqSXg&hl=en&ei=hQQ5SqmWBIKsjAfUoaSfDQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7

Regards

Tim

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/17/2009 10:23:21 PM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: TMO

Goodguy

quote:

.....the US obtained British 6-pdrs (for the 82nd and/or the 101st), where a division then employed 8 of these guns in divisional artillery, 24 in the AA battalion, and 18 in the glider infantry regiment. PIR units did not have AT guns.


Check out p.41, US Airborne Divisions in the ETO 1944-45, By Steven J. Zaloga, Duncan Anderson:


Nice find. The TO&E on page 35 - from December 16, 1944, lists 9 57mm guns in the Glider Infantry Regiment's AT battery, with additional 3 guns assigned to each battalion (" Battalion x3") = eighteen 57mm guns. So this part (18 6-pdrs per Glider Regiment) of the wiki-entry is correct.

Zaloga also lists 4 37mm guns for the airborne division's artillery Bn (called "divisional Arty" in the wiki-entry), and 8 of these guns for the anti-aircraft battalion. Both TOEs are from February 1944, though. Since the 37mm guns originally listed on the airborne divisions' TOE were replaced by the 6-pdr even before these units were dropped on French soil, the actual numbers of 6-pdrs (ending up in the Arty Bn and the AA Bn) still have to be researched:

quote:

ORIGINAL: S.J. Zaloga in "US Airborne Divisions in the ETO 1944-45", referring to the use of the 6-pdr in the "Airborne anti-aircraft battalion":

"As mentioned earlier, the 1944 tables authorized the 37mm anti-tank gun, but the British 6-pdr was substituted in the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions prior to the Normandy landings. These weapons proved very useful in stemming several German armored attacks in Normandy so, by the time of the December 1944 tables, the 57mm gun had become officially accepted in spite of the need for glider delivery. The postwar General Board study concluded that this unit was unnecessary and its task better handled by artillery units since the new recoilless rifles were suitable for the anti-tank role."


The Airborne Division's AA unit was, according to Zaloga, in fact a heavy weapons unit, with the priority on AT guns when it came to airlift, as transport capabilities of the Allies were limited.

Also, if I interpret this right, the AA unit's task in the airborne division - when using the 57mm guns, was infantry support mainly, where in contrast - due to the need for glider delivery - Parachute Infantry (PIR) units had to rely on Bazookas when they had to engage enemy tanks. There's a picture of a knocked out StuGIV in Carentan, with a 6-pdr in front - on page 42, though. Too bad "Band of Brothers" didn't include some 6-pdr action in the part showing events in Carentan .

Anyway, conclusion:

  • If the 101st's AA and Arty elements and GIR were in Bastogne and if they had managed to move their equipment to the perimeter in time, they were using their 6-pdrs, definetly. Since they had been issued before the Normandy landings, they had been surely used during operation Market Garden. In case BFTB scenarios cover the northern sector, where the 82nd Division (especially the 325th Glider Infantry Regiment) jumped in 2 days after the Ardennes offensive began, this division's AT components/capabilities should be reviewed as well.

  • Starting in late autumn 1944 (according to Zaloga), US 57mm gun units (airborne too, most likely) received low amounts of British APDS ammunition from British stocks (Zaloga) and "trades" (vet accounts on BBC). The Regimental officer's recommendation (quoted in post #26) regarding the standard ammunition load (10 rounds of APDS per gun) could be used as guideline imho, so 5-10 rounds per gun would be realistic, imo.
    That means that the ammunition load for all units using 57mm guns should be reviewed.


< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 6/18/2009 12:19:34 AM >

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/18/2009 1:19:32 AM   
simovitch


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There was a 1st Infantry Division 57mm at Dom Bütgenbach that fired APDS rounds during the German attack, knocking out a Panther or a JgPz V. However there just isn't enough instances on the WF to warrant inclusion of APDS into the game as the AP shot for the 57mm, or to include a special "APDS" 57mm.

The limitation in the game is that you can only have 1 type of ammo each for AP, HE, AA, etc.
If this was Combat Mission I would say we have a problem, but with BFTB at the Operational level, I would say we are OK.

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RE: 6 pdr anti-tank gun - 6/18/2009 7:05:49 AM   
GoodGuy

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: simovitch

However there just isn't enough instances on the WF to warrant inclusion of APDS into the game as the AP shot for the 57mm, or to include a special "APDS" 57mm.

Well if the engine would be able to render 2 different types of AP ammo, I'd say they should be included, as the US units actually had APDS at their disposal - by December 1944, given, in really low numbers. The sources are there regarding the (low amounts) of APDS ammo, unlike with HE used by the Brits.

quote:

If this was Combat Mission I would say we have a problem, but with BFTB at the Operational level, I would say we are OK.

Yep, I see the engine limit and it wouldn't be correct to replace AP with APDS, but I still see a problem, as the 101st and the 82nd had the lightweight 6-pdr MK-III gun and not the 57mm M1. The 57mm M1 couldn't be moved without trucks or halftracks and they couldn't be transfered with gliders, let alone dropped by bombers (which happened to 6-pdrs), but the MK-IIIs very well. The possibility to use these lightweight AT guns does impact manoeuvrability and punch of airborne units in the field - ergo the decision process of the player.

The GIR's AT-battery, the airborne Division's AA and the divisional arty bty received 6-pdrs.

At least the GIR's exact amount of 6-pdrs is in Zaloga (TOE from 16th December 1944).
Unless another source indicates that the 101st 6-pdrs didn't make it to Bastogne and that the 82nd left their guns behind when they moved to Werbomont, the 6-pdrs MK-III should make it into the estabs.
If the 82nd, and especially its GIR, is present in the game (northern sector) then it should receive the same treatment, estab-wise.

< Message edited by GoodGuy -- 6/19/2009 4:52:42 PM >


_____________________________

"Aw Nuts"
General Anthony McAuliffe
December 22nd, 1944
Bastogne

---
"I've always felt that the AA (Alied Assault engine) had the potential to be [....] big."
Tim Stone
8th of August, 2006

(in reply to simovitch)
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