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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/10/2019 7:03:20 PM   
asl3d


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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/11/2019 5:09:04 PM   
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In the United States Armed Forces, sniper training was only very elementary and was mainly concerned with being able to hit targets over long distances. Snipers were required to be able to hit a body over 400 meters away, and a head over 200 meters away. There was almost no instruction in blending into the environment. Sniper training varied from place to place, resulting in wide variation in the qualities of snipers. The main reason the US did not extend sniper training beyond long-range shooting was the limited deployment of US soldiers until the Normandy Invasion. During the campaigns in North Africa and Italy, most fighting occurred in arid and mountainous regions where the potential for concealment was limited, in contrast to Western and Central Europe.
The U.S. Army's lack of familiarity with sniping tactics proved disastrous in Normandy and the campaign in Western Europe where they encountered well trained German snipers. In Normandy, German snipers remained hidden in the dense vegetation and were able to encircle American units, firing at them from all sides. The American and British forces were surprised by how near the German snipers could approach in safety and attack them, as well as by their ability to hit targets at up to 1,000m. A notable mistake made by inexperienced American soldiers was to lie down and wait when targeted by German snipers, allowing the snipers to pick them off one after another.
Servicemen volunteer for the rigorous sniper training and are accepted on the basis of their aptitude, physical ability, marksmanship, patience and mental stability. Military snipers may be further trained as forward air controllers (FACs) to direct air strikes or forward observers (FOs) to direct artillery or mortar fire.
Snipers themselves were often little more than riflemen selected for their superior marksmanship, equipped with a sniper rifle, and deployed to the appropriate slot in a company TO&E. The United States Army gave snipers only rudimentary training which emphasized marksmanship, while the Marines gave somewhat more thorough training to specialist scout-sniper teams. A Scout and Sniper School was established at Guadalcanal in September 1942 to train two snipers in each rifle company, plus additional snipers for a Scout and Sniper Detachment for 1 Marine Corps. In April 1943 a 43-man scout and sniper platoon was authorized for each Marine infantry regiment.
The US was on the offensive, snipers simply aren’t necessary. American rifleman were issued a 30–06 semi-automatic rifle that you could pull off a shelf today and hit dinner plates at 500 yards. The US is a country where depression raised young men used a rifle much lower in quality than the garand, to feed their family and wasted ammo was a sin. An Appalachian kid with a Garand was a sniper without the fancy scope and name tag. The deadliest sniper of WWII never used a scope. From time to time elite US forces would have a few boys with 03 scoped rifles, but often if a small unit ran into a dug in rifleman, they would just call up the farm boy in their platoon, who had an awesome 30–06 semi, and have them deal with it. Many rifleman are as deadly without a scope as with.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/12/2019 6:14:41 PM   
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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/13/2019 5:17:11 PM   
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The landing craft vehicle personnel (LCVP) or Higgins boat was a landing craft used extensively in amphibious landings in World War II. The craft was designed by Andrew Higgins based on boats made for operating in swamps and marshes. More than 23,358 were built, by Higgins Industries and licensees.
Typically constructed from plywood, this shallow-draft, barge-like boat could ferry a roughly platoon-sized complement of 36 men to shore at 17 km/h. Men generally entered the boat by climbing down a cargo net hung from the side of their troop transport; they exited by charging down the boat's lowered bow ramp. Taking the last letter of the LCVP designation, sailors often nicknamed the Higgins Boat the "Papa Boat" or "Peter Boat" to differentiate it from other landing craft such as the LCU and the LCM, with the LCM being called the "Mike Boat."
The United States Marine Corps, always interested in finding better ways to get men across a beach in an amphibious landing, and frustrated that the Navy's Bureau of Construction and Repair could not meet its requirements, began to express interest in Higgins' boat. When tested in 1938 by the Navy and Marine Corps, Higgins' Eureka boat surpassed the performance of a Navy-designed boat, and was tested by the services during fleet landing exercises in February 1939.
The LCP(L), commonly called the "U-boat" or the "Higgins" boat, was supplied to the British (from October 1940), to whom it was initially known as the "R-boat" and used for commando raids.
The Japanese had been using ramp-bowed landing boats like Daihatsu-class landing craft in the Second Sino-Japanese War since the summer of 1937 — boats that had come under intense scrutiny by Navy and Marine Corps observers at the Battle of Shanghai in particular, including from future general, Victor H. Krulak. When Krulak showed Higgins a picture and suggested that Higgins develop a version of the ramped craft for the Navy, Higgins, at his own expense, started his designers working on adapting the idea to the boat design. He then had three of the craft built, again at his own expense.
On May 26, 1941, Cdr. Ross Daggett, from BuShip, and Maj. Ernest Linsert, of the Marine Equipment Board, witnessed the testing of the three craft. One involved off-loading a truck; another the embarking and disembarking of 36 of Higgins' employees, simulating troops. This craft later was designated LCVP—Landing Craft Vehicle, Personnel.
The Higgins boat could hold either a 36-man platoon, a jeep and a 12-man squad, or 8,000 lb (3.6 t) of cargo. Its shallow draft (3 feet aft and 2 feet, 2 inches forward) enabled it to run up onto the shoreline, and a semi-tunnel built into its hull protected the propeller from sand and other debris. The steel ramp at the front could be lowered quickly. It was possible for the Higgins boat to swiftly disembark men and supplies, reverse itself off the beach, and head back out to the supply ship for another load within three to four minutes.
Armor was a problem, but also other problems found later were that the boat could not go through shallow water and reefs. Other vehicles were created to meet those drawbacks in amphibious operations.
The Higgins boat was built in New Orleans and all workers, white, black, male, female, were paid the same wage based on their job position





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/14/2019 5:24:30 PM   
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The US Army fast expansion brought problems. The first major crisis was finding experienced officers and non-commissioned officers to command and train this influx. As men showed promise, they were shuttled to new assignments to fill the gaps.
The professional officer corps of the US Army was not extensive at the start of World War II and that many of the weaker commissioner classes were quickly turned into relatively inexperienced officers, often mockingly referred to as "The wonders of 90 days," a term derived from the duration of their special training, which, even having a reputation as competent and heroic, was often viewed with suspicion by veterans and private soldiers until, at the of combat, their skills were valued. As a result of this, the proportion of low-quality officers in the American forces remained relatively high.
The school system was increased to graduate 600 new officers every five weeks. A portion of the experience was found in the pool of over 100000 who were members of the Reserve Officers Training Corps. This group would eventually constitute 75-90 % of all officer strength in the Regular Army units. To supplement these sources, an officer candidate school system was created which could produce a minimum of 10000 new officers a year. Even while the increase in the Regular Army was taking place, membership in the National Guard kept pace. Strength for the Guard reached 303027 men on 30 June 1941. At the same time, drill requirements were increased from 48 to 60 hours per annum. It was this force which was inducted into the establishment in successive increments starting on 16 September 1940 (with mobilization to be complete by 23 June 1941). It was the induction of these units which came back to haunt the Army, as they could only be called in for a period not to exceed 12 continuous months—a problem that was only to be resolved with the Japanese attack.
The recruitment and training of officers and NCOs reached crisis proportions early in America's mobilization efforts. The Regular Army at the close of fiscal year 1940 had an authorized commissioned strength of 13637, which rose to 14016 at the end of 1941. Under the act of 1939, commissioned strength would have continued to rise Field commanders in 1942 complained repeatedly that they were receiving men of so low a mental capability to be trained. One commander stated that the hardest problem in finding competent enlisted personnel to be instructors was because "everybody higher than a moron" had already been pulled out. General McNair insisted that the Army must deal with the manpower situation as it found it—with the exception of the airborne divisions, who were authorized to remove their class IV and V men in excess of the Army average (18 Sept 1942).
An Army Ground Forces observer with the Fifth Army in Italy reported, "Squad leaders and patrol leaders with initiative were scarce . . . the assignment of Grade V men to infantry is murder." In essence, competent leaders were scarcest where the fighting was the thickest.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/15/2019 5:48:09 PM   
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The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was a World War II era fighter aircraft produced by the United States from 1941 through 1945. Its primary armament was eight .50-caliber machine guns and in the fighter-bomber ground-attack role it could carry five-inch rockets or a bomb load of 1,103 kg. When fully loaded the P-47 weighed up to eight tons making it one of the heaviest fighters of the war. The P-47 was designed around the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine which was also used by two U.S. Navy fighters, the Grumman F6F Hellcat and the Vought F4U Corsair. The Thunderbolt was a aircraft effective to ground attack in both the World War II European and Pacific theaters.
The armored cockpit was relatively roomy and comfortable and the bubble canopy introduced on the P-47D offered good visibility. A total of 15,636 aircraft were built between 1941 and 1945.
The P-47 Thunderbolt was a design of Georgian immigrant Alexander Kartveli, and was to replace the Seversky P-35 that was developed earlier by Russian immigrant Alexander P. de Seversky. In 1939, Republic Aviation designed the AP-4 demonstrator powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radial engine with a belly-mounted turbocharger. Republic had been working on the AP-10 fighter design, a lightweight aircraft powered by the Allison V-1710 liquid-cooled V-12 engine and armed with eight .50 (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns. The United States Army Air Corps backed the project and gave it the designation XP-47.
The armament was eight .50 caliber "light-barrel" Browning AN/M2 machine guns, four in each wing. The guns were staggered to allow feeding from side-by-side ammunition boxes, each with 350 rounds. All eight guns gave the fighter a combined rate of fire of approximately 100 rounds per second.
By the end of 1942, P-47Cs were sent to England for combat operations. The initial Thunderbolt flyers, 56th Fighter Group, was sent overseas to join the 8th Air Force. As the P-47 Thunderbolt worked up to operational status, it gained a nickname: the "Jug" (because its profile was similar to that of a common milk jug of the time). Two Fighter Groups already stationed in England began introducing the Jugs in January 1943: the Spitfire-flying 4th Fighter Group, a unit built around a core of experienced American pilots who had flown in the RAF Eagle Squadrons prior to the US entry in the war; and the 78th Fighter Group, formerly flying P-38 Lightnings.
The first P-47 combat mission took place 10 March 1943 when the 4th FG took their aircraft on a fighter sweep over France. The first P-47 air combat took place 15 April with Major Don Blakeslee of the 4th FG scoring the Thunderbolt's first air victory (against a Focke-Wulf Fw 190).
By mid-1943, the Jug was also in service with the 12th Air Force in Italy and against the Japanese in the Pacific, with the 348th Fighter Group flying missions out of Port Moresby, New Guinea. By 1944, the Thunderbolt was in combat with the USAAF in all its operational theaters except Alaska.
With increases in fuel capacity as the type was refined, the range of escort missions over Europe steadily increased until the P-47 was able to accompany bombers in raids all the way into Germany. On the way back from the raids, pilots shot up ground targets of opportunity, and also used belly shackles to carry bombs on short-range missions, which led to the realization that the P-47 could perform a dual-function on escort missions as a fighter-bomber. Even with its complicated turbosupercharger system, its sturdy airframe and tough radial engine could absorb a lot of damage and still return home.
The P-47 gradually became the USAAF's best fighter-bomber, normally carrying 227 kg bombs, M8 4.5 in (115 mm) or 5 in (127 mm) High velocity aircraft rockets (HVARs, also known as "Holy Moses"). From D-Day until VE day, Thunderbolt pilots claimed to have destroyed 86,000 railroad cars, 9,000 locomotives, 6,000 armored fighting vehicles, and 68,000 trucks





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/16/2019 5:47:59 PM   
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There were in all at some time during the war, 317 regiments of US infantry of various kinds. Among these were types unknown before the war, such as three mountain, twelve glider, and sixteen parachute infantry regiments. In addition there were 99 separate battalions, some of which were also very highly specialized.
Among the remarkable separate battalions were the 1st-6th Rangers. These were light infantry trained to slash deep into enemy-held territory in order to demoralize the foe in every way they could. Although the ranger battalions were not created by redesigning existing infantry outfits, and so not given any official history before the time of their constitution in 1942, they were nevertheless heirs to a very old and proud tradition. That tradition went further back than the American Revolution: indeed the rules drawn up by Robert Rogers in 1757 for his famous ranger companies that served for England in North America were re-printed for use in training the rangers of World War II. The rangers were not the only infantry constituted to perform commando missions.
On June 19, 1942 the 1st Ranger Battalion was sanctioned, recruited, and began training in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland. 80 percent of the original Rangers came from the 34th Infantry Division. Together with the ensuing 3rd and 4th Ranger Battalions they fought in North Africa and Italy commanded by Colonel William Orlando Darby until the Battle of Cisterna (29 January 1944) when most of the Rangers of the 1st and 3rd Battalions were captured. Of the 767 men in the battalions 761 were killed or captured. The remaining Rangers were absorbed into the Canadian-American First Special Service Force under Brigadier General Robert T. Frederick. They were then instrumental in operations in and around the Anzio beachhead that followed Operation Shingle.
The 29th Ranger Battalion was a temporary unit made of selected volunteers from the 29th Infantry Division that was in existence from December 1942 to November 1943. Before the 5th Ranger Battalion landing on Dog White sector on Omaha Beach, during the Invasion of Normandy, the 2nd Ranger Battalion scaled the 27 m cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, a few miles to the west, to destroy a five-gun battery of captured French Canon de 155 mm GPF guns.
Two separate Ranger units fought the war in the Pacific Theater. The 98th Field Artillery Battalion was formed on 16 December 1940 and activated at Fort Lewis in January 1941. On 26 September 1944, they were converted from field artillery to light infantry and became 6th Ranger Battalion. 6th Ranger Battalion led the invasion of the Philippines and executed the raid on the Cabanatuan POW camp. They continued fighting in the Philippines until they were deactivated on 30 December 1945, in Japan.
After the first Quebec Conference, the 5307th Composite Unit (provisional) was formed with Frank Merrill as the commander, its 2,997 officers and men became popularly known as Merrill's Marauders. They began training in India on 31 October 1943. Much of the Marauders training was based on Major General Orde Wingate of the British Army who specialized in deep penetration raids behind Japanese lines. The 5307th Composite Group was composed of the six color-coded combat teams that would become part of modern Ranger heraldry, they fought against the Japanese during the Burma Campaign. In February 1944, the Marauders began a 1,600 km march over the Himalayan mountain range and through the Burmese jungle to strike behind the Japanese lines. By March, they had managed to cut off Japanese forces in Maingkwan and cut their supply lines in the Hukawng Valley. On 17 May, the Marauders and Chinese forces captured the Myitkyina airfield, the only all-weather airfield in Burma. For their actions, every member of the unit received the Bronze Star.
On 6 June 1944, during the assault landing on Dog White sector of Omaha Beach as part of the invasion of Normandy, then-Brigadier General Norman Cota (assistant CO of the 29th ID) approached Major Max Schneider, CO of the 5th Ranger Battalion and asked "What outfit is this?", Schneider answered "5th Rangers, Sir!" To this, Cota replied "Well, goddamnit, if you're Rangers, lead the way!" From this, the Ranger motto—"Rangers lead the way!"—was born.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/17/2019 7:54:22 PM   
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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/18/2019 5:00:53 PM   
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The Scouts were a critical part of any successful operation. US infantry divisions (was be composed of around 14000 or so soldiers) had 900 or so dedicated soldiers in their division cavalry recon squadrons alone, and more at the individual regimental level (usually on a ratio of one battalion or so of recon for each 9 line battalions of conventional troops). And that’s not even getting into ordinary soldiers employed in a recce capacity. On an even lower level, 2 soldiers in each US rifle squad were notionally ‘scouts’, whose job was to advance ahead of the squad/platoon, and to identify enemy positions before the bulk of the formation arrived. No operation was conducted (at least on a theoretical level) without preliminary as well as ongoing recon, and recon troops were typically prioritised for critical equipment like radios.
A special mention must be made to the Alamo Scouts (U.S. 6th Army Special Reconnaissance Unit) was a reconnaissance unit of the Sixth United States Army in the Pacific Theater of Operations during World War II.
The Scouts were organized on Fergusson Island, New Guinea, on 28 November 1943. Their purpose was to conduct reconnaissance and raider work in the Southwest Pacific Theater. The scouts often operated deep behind Japanese lines. They were under the personal command of Lieutenant General Walter Krueger, Commanding General of the U.S. Sixth Army. General Krueger wanted a unit that could provide timely vital intelligence on the enemy's troop numbers, unit types, and locations to the Sixth Army. General Krueger had previously received faulty intelligence reports from other sources outside of Sixth Army.
Krueger sought to create an all volunteer elite unit consisting of small teams which could operate deep behind enemy lines. Their primary mission was to gather intelligence for the Sixth U.S. Army. The unit was so named because of Krueger's association with San Antonio, Texas and because of his admiration for the defenders of the Alamo. The "Alamo" nickname also applied to Krueger's Sixth Army, known as the Alamo Force, a name also applied to the shadow command structure that General MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander of the SouthWest Pacific, created to maintain extra control of that Army while it was part of his multi-army Allied Ground Forces branch, under the command of Australian General Sir Thomas Blamey. The Scouts were an ad hoc unit and had no table of organization & equipment (TO&E).
During the New Guinea Campaign, Alamo Scout missions normally lasted from one to three days and were mostly reconnaissance and intelligence gathering in nature, but as the Allies advanced into the Philippines the unit’s mission expanded dramatically, with some missions lasting two months or longer. Furthermore, the unit assumed a central role in organizing large-scale guerrilla operations, establishing road watch stations, attempting to locate and capture or kill Japanese flag officers, and performing direct action missions.
The American squad often consisted of 12 men, quite similar to the Germans. Activity in the squad revolved mostly around the squad leader and the BAR man. The squad leader coordinated individual members of the squad and helped teammates achieve set objectives and the BAR man unleashed the full power of the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle on enemy combatants. Sometimes the squad would be further broken up into three smaller teams, say teams Able, Bravo, and Charlie, in order to facilitate accomplishment of mission objectives. Team Able was made up of two riflemen scouts whose job it was to locate the enemy, team bravo comprised of the BAR man and three riflemen whose job it was to open heavy fire, and team Charlie made up of five riflemen and the squad leader, who would then make the assault.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/19/2019 5:18:24 PM   
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The LCRL or Landing Craft Rubber Large was an inflatable rubber boat that was used by the United States during World War II.
Rubber boats in general were first adopted by the US Marine Corps in 1938 for use by scouts and eventually the Marine Raiders. The LCRL was mainly used in river crossings, but it could also be used to land on beaches which would prove critical in the Pacific. The most important feature for raiding parties was that the LCRL was silent if no motor was used, creating far more stealth opportunities that otherwise would not have been possible with conventional ships or landing craft. Over 10,000 were produced throughout the war with the LCRL eventually being replaced by more modern rubber boats.
Adopted in 1938, "rubber boats" were essential for Raiders and scouts to move from ship to shore. Since they were transported by submarines, PT boats, and other small craft where space was at a premium, deflated boats could be easily stowed. They could be inflated by two hand-operated pumps, but on submarines and surface craft compressed-air hoses were available. The 3951b LCR(L) was made of black synthetic rubber with three rubber bench seats supported by inflated tubes below them. They were sometimes painted with blue-gray rubber paint. The tubular hull measured 16ft in length with an 8ft beam, and was divided into ten separate cells, allowing the boat to maintain floatation with two-thirds of the cells punctured. It was designed for ten men, but 12 and even more could be carried. Ten short and two long wooden paddles (here not to scale) were provided as a quiet means of propulsion. The Evinrude 9.5hp, two-cylinder outboard motors were temperamental, unreliable, and too noisy for covert operations unless there was loud surf, as there was at Makin. They lacked engine cowlings that would have provided some silencing, and the coil and magneto were susceptible to seawater damage. The outboards gave the boat a speed of 3.5-4.5 knots, but most importantly provided enough power to push through surf. Accessories included a repair kit, wooden bullet-hole plugs, bailers, an emergency Eta inflation bottle, and a sea anchor.
The LCRL could carry a maximum of ten men and it could have a varying armament depending on what the infantry in the boat had. Usually, a machine gun was placed at the front of the boat. It also had an outboard motor that could propel the boat at speeds of about 4.5 knots. The displacement of the LCRL was about 215 kilograms and the length was about 4.8 meters, the beam was 2.4 meters. The boat itself was made of synthetic rubber and had three rubber seats as a frame.
The boat could also be paddled by the men inside the boat and could travel at speeds of up to 52.1 meters per minute with a well trained team. The realistic range of the boat varied from about 3.2 km to 4.8 km. What was perhaps most useful about the LCRL was the fact that it could be transported near anywhere by a variety of craft without taking up much room. To inflate, only two hand pumps were required or preferably an air hose.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/20/2019 5:45:54 PM   
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The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II. More than 15,000 aircraft were built between 1941 and 1945.
The Mustang was designed to use the Allison V-1710 engine which, in its earlier variants, had limited high-altitude performance. The aircraft was first flown operationally by the RAF as a tactical-reconnaissance aircraft and fighter-bomber (Mustang Mk I). The definitive version, the P-51D, was powered by the Packard V-1650-7, a license-built version of the two-speed two-stage-supercharged Merlin 66, and was armed with six .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2/AN Browning machine guns.
The USAAF's Ninth Air Force used the Merlin-powered Mustangs as fighter-bombers, roles in which the Mustang helped ensure Allied air superiority in 1944. The P-51 was also used by Allied air forces in the North African, Mediterranean, Italian and Pacific theaters.
The prototype NA-73X was rolled out in September 1940, just 102 days after the order had been placed; it first flew on 26 October 1940, 149 days into the contract, an uncommonly short development period, even during the war. With test pilot Vance Breese at the controls, the prototype handled well and accommodated an impressive fuel load. The aircraft's three-section, semimonocoque fuselage was constructed entirely of aluminum to save weight. It was armed with four .30 caliber (7.62 mm) M1919 Browning machine guns in the wings and two .50 caliber (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns mounted under the engine and firing through the propeller arc using gun-synchronizing gear.
P-51s started to become available to the 8th and 9th Air Forces in the winter of 1943–1944. During the conversion to the two-stage, supercharged Merlin engine, which was slightly heavier than the single-stage Allison, so moved the aircraft's centre-of-gravity forward, North American's engineers took the opportunity to add a large additional fuselage fuel tank behind the pilot, greatly increasing the aircraft's range over that of the earlier P-51A.
The Mustang was so clearly superior to earlier US designs that the 8th Air Force began to steadily switch its fighter groups to the Mustang, first swapping arriving P-47 groups to the 9th Air Force in exchange for those that were using P-51s, then gradually converting its Thunderbolt and Lightning groups. By the end of 1944, 14 of its 15 groups flew the Mustang.
On 15 April 1944, VIII Fighter Command began "Operation Jackpot", attacks on Luftwaffe fighter airfields. As the efficacy of these missions increased, the number of fighters at the German airbases fell to the point where they were no longer considered worthwhile targets. On 21 May, targets were expanded to include railways, locomotives, and rolling stock used by the Germans to transport materiel and troops, in missions dubbed "Chattanooga".





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/21/2019 5:43:10 PM   
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US G.I. BAR:

The origins of this popular nickname are somewhat murky. A popular theory links the term to the early 20th century, when “G.I.” was stamped on military trash cans and buckets. The two-letter abbreviation stood for the material from which these items were made: galvanized iron. The prevalence of the term led soldiers in World War II to start referring to themselves as "G.I.'s". Some servicemen used it as a sarcastic reference symbolizing their belief that they were just mass-produced products of the government. Here, the term G.I. refers, in a generic way, to the "Green Infantry", that is, to US combat units well equipped and well trained, but without any experience in combat.
In 1939, the US Army only had 174,000 soldiers, including the Army Air Forces. At its peak during the war, the Army grew to over 8 million men and women in uniform, joined by an additional 3.4 million in the Navy. The new additions were mostly young Americans who would normally have been pursuing jobs, schooling, and family life, but instead were answering the nation’s call to arms. Many of them had never even traveled outside their home state, let alone Europe, Asia, or the Pacific Islands. Preparing these millions of civilians for war would be one of the military’s most daunting challenges. The American soldiers were, both tactically and psychologically, different from the Germans or the Russians. They surrendered more easily than those under enemy fire, but they also recovered more quickly. Moreover, their lack of tactical sense, often, led them to try some fearful and sometimes unwise actions. They loved the mechanisms of any kind and they liked extraordinarily capture weapons and equipment. Probably the best person to summarize the characteristic feature of the American soldier, was Erwin Rommel himself, who claimed never to have seen worse soldiers in his first battle, nor any who learned so much from his second. Any attempt to reflect a national fact, characteristic of the American units, must be based on the variable experience in the battlefield, taking into account the different relative constants always present in the American army: instruction, armament, and physical condition. Rarely American units are represented by uniform types of infantry. Normally was be a mixture of experienced and inexperienced troops, due to the constant disorder in the line of replacement. Even the veteran squads were a mix of seasoned troops with inexperienced replacements, who knows how, up to the line of fire. The G.I. they tended to demoralize under fire more easily than their counterparts in the European armies, but he was also an independent type, who, once hardened in combat, retreated more quickly and often fought with a calm and efficient revenge. The G.I. they were more adept at cooking the dish than at eating it, and they did not react well under fire. It was not strange that they suffered a tremendous amount of punishment during prolonged battles only alleviated by the ingenuity of the troops, which endowed them with a special resistance against the attacks of the enemy. Even if it is true that this phenomenon occurred in all armies, (especially among the remnants of the German army in 1945), the American army was especially affected.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/22/2019 5:53:03 PM   
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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/23/2019 6:04:48 PM   
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The advances in medical science in World War II were an exponential leap in the saving of lives and the comfort and recovery of wounded soldiers. World War II began abruptly for the United States on a quiet Sunday morning in Hawaii. Like all other branches of the military, the U.S. Army Medical Department had to swell its ranks quickly to meet the challenge of total, and global, war.
Unlike the fighting branches of the military, not just any recruit or draftee qualified for this highly technical service. Trained medical personnel were needed, and lots of them. Under the taciturn direction of Surgeon General Norman T. Kirk, the department grew rapidly. From a peacetime Army that boasted only 1,200 doctors, the department eventually enlisted as many as 50,000 physicians by the end of the war in Europe. For the first time in history, 83 of the Army’s doctors were women. In addition to the enlisted professionals, thousands of regular GIs served as medics, litter bearers, and ambulance drivers.
The front line of the whole medical operation was known as the aid man or medic. The medic was not a trained physician, but he had extensive Army training in first aid. In combat he was the one expected to come to the rescue of his wounded comrades under fire. The pained cry of “Medic!” brought him on the run. It was the rapid response of the medic and his litter bearers under hazardous conditions, administering first aid, applying tourniquets, injecting pain-killing morphine, and rushing a casualty from the front to the rear hospitals that was responsible for saving many lives. By the end of the war five medics in the European Theater were awarded the Medal of Honor. Hundreds more won Silver and Bronze Stars.
Ideally, the system of medical treatment was set up so that frontline medics would be able to treat a wounded man where he fell. This usually consisted of a shot of morphine to prevent him from going into shock, some sulfa powder to keep his wounds from getting infected, and a rapid bandage to stop the bleeding. Then stretcher bearers were called forward to carry the patient from the field to a battalion aid station perhaps a kilometer behind the lines. At the aid station more thorough first aid could be administered, a diagnosis made, and a seriously injured man stabilized. From there, the wounded were carried or transported farther back to a collecting station that sorted out the more serious casualties for the PSH (if available) or sent the wounded to a clearing station that consisted of 12 doctors and 96 enlisted men. The clearing station was far better equipped than the frontline medics, and major medical surgeries could be performed in sanitary conditions before the worst cases were sent to an evacuation hospital some 12-15 miles behind the lines. From there, the seriously wounded were shipped to a general hospital as near to the home of the individual soldier as possible.
As the scope of the war was worldwide, the Army Medical Department had to maintain duplicate operations in every theater. In the South Pacific, beginning in New Guinea and in the subsequent island-hopping campaigns the medical authorities were as much if not more concerned with disease-bearing bacteria, insects, and mosquitoes than they were with enemy bullets. Jungle rot was a GI-inspired name used to include a variety of terrible and mysterious fungal skin diseases that soldiers contracted in the dense rain forests that covered tropical islands. Malaria, dysentery, typhus, and a number of other ailments sidelined more soldiers than did the whole Japanese Army. But battle casualties were high enough, and Japanese soldiers were subject to the same debilitating jungle diseases as Americans. The Japanese did not typically have access to care of the quality available to U.S. soldiers.
Captured doctors of both sides were put to work by their enemies. There were many cases of German doctors who had been taken prisoner working on Americans and captured American doctors given German wounded to care for. As a rule, captured physicians were treated as respected colleagues by their counterparts. One American doctor reported that he and German physicians freely taught and learned different medical procedures from each other. The American medical corps generally provided the same care to wounded German prisoners as to Allied casualties.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/24/2019 6:10:49 PM   
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The term "paratrooper" has traditionally described a U.S. Army soldier or officer serving in an airborne unit. Among the most elite outfits of the United States Army of World War II were the airborne units. The Army's sister services also had personnel trained and qualified in airborne operations, including Marine reconnaissance. U.S. Army paratrooper training was on a volunteer basis only.
During World War II American paratroopers fought from Port Moresby, New Guinea to North Africa. They were trained to fight in any part of the world in any conditions, in any climate, or in any terrain. Whether it’s a desert environment or snow capped mountains, paratroopers can fight anywhere. The training to be an airborne soldier was tough, but so was the job. What set airborne soldiers apart was their ability to jump into combat. Paratroopers are not ordinary soldiers. Their battlefields are behind enemy lines. They drop silently from the sky. They are messengers of death and destruction. Lightly armed, unsupported by tanks and heavy artillery, they fight time after time against overwhelming odds.
A paratrooper must be a master of many arts. A paratrooper not only fights in Europe, not only in the deserts of North Africa, or the jungles of the Pacific but everywhere. Airborne soldiers are taught to survive everywhere and anywhere. The paratroopers in World War II were a combination of brave fighting men, taught to survive overwhelming odds and willing to parachute behind enemy lines. In World War II, paratroops were a product of new training for a new kind of war. Their graduation ceremony was to jump into Europe and the Pacific to fight against tyranny and Fascism and win. And win they did.
The first large-scale use of U.S. military paratroopers occurred during the Allied invasion of Sicily in July 1943.
Prior to Pearl Harbor, the War Department authorized the organization of airborne units for the U.S. Army. America’s active involvement in World War II resulted in a large expansion of the Army’s airborne units. The American paratroopers served bravely and with distinction in a number of campaigns during the war including the assault on Sicily, the invasion of France and “Operation Market Garden” along with some smaller-scale operations in the Pacific. At the conclusion of the war there were several fully operational airborne divisions in the U.S. Army, and the American armed forces had the strongest and best-equipped airborne units in the history of warfare.
American paratroopers generally used the same small arms as their infantry comrades. These include crew-served weapons, such as .30-cal. machine guns and mortars, as well as small arms. The most notable exception was the airborne-specific U.S. Model M1A1 “Paratrooper” Carbine. It employed a folding stock and could be fitted into a scabbard when actually parachuting. Firepower was also a concern for the lightly armed airborne, so Thompsons were heavily used.




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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/25/2019 6:12:46 PM   
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Landing Craft Assault (LCA) was a landing craft used extensively in World War II. Its primary purpose was to ferry troops from transport ships to attack enemy-held shores. During the war it was manufactured throughout the United Kingdom in places as various as small boatyards and furniture manufacturers.
Typically constructed of hardwood planking and selectively clad with armour plate, this shallow-draft, barge-like boat with a crew of four could ferry an infantry platoon of 31, with space to spare for five additional specialist troops, to shore at 13 km/h. Men generally entered the boat by walking over a gangplank from the boat deck of a troop transport as the LCA hung from its davits. When loaded, the LCA was lowered into the water. Soldiers exited by the boat's bow ramp.
The Landing Craft Assault's design's sturdy hull, load capacity, low silhouette, shallow draft, little bow wave, and silenced engines were all assets that benefited the occupants. The extent of its light armour, proof against rifle bullets and shell splinters with similar ballistic power recommended the LCA. Also, many a Tommy and GI looked favourably upon the luxury of seating in the well for the soldier passengers. Throughout the war in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean, the LCA was the most likely sea assault transport of British Commandos, United States Army Rangers, and other Special Forces.
The LCA was the most common British and Commonwealth landing craft of World War II, and the humblest vessel admitted to the books of the Royal Navy on D-Day. On D-Day LCAs put troops ashore at Juno, Gold, and Sword Beaches. LCAs landed the US infantry formations on either flank of Omaha Beach and the Rangers who assaulted Pointe du Hoc. The westernmost landings on Utah Beach and the pre-dawn landing on Îles Saint-Marcouf were also carried in LCAs.
The LCA type was confronted with many challenges on D-Day; some presented by the Neptune plan, some by the enemy defences, and others by the weather. The initial seaborne assault on the Normandy coast broke with previous Allied practice, in that it was made in daylight. The invasion could occur 6 June because the date satisfied certain preliminary requirements. Of particular concern to landing craft, H-Hour was fixed forty minutes after nautical twilight. H-Hour was also fixed for three hours before high-water mark. The tide in the English Channel rises from west to east (high water in Utah area occurs approximately 40 minutes before it occurs in the Sword area), and so some difference in H-Hour were planned among the assault areas in order to provide the initial assault landing craft the full advantage of a rising tide. Among the many variable concerns to be considered by the planners was whether to land below, among, or above the obstacles line. The sea conditions at many places along the coast currents (5.0 km/h) were just at the outside operational limit of the LCA. The setting of the Transportation Area 18 km from shore presented an additional complication for LCAs operating in the Western Task Force Area in these condition.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/26/2019 5:37:08 PM   
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The North American B-25 Mitchell is an American twin-engine, medium bomber manufactured by North American Aviation (NAA).
The design was named in honor of Major General William "Billy" Mitchell, a pioneer of U.S. military aviation. Used by many Allied air forces, the B-25 served in every theater of World War II and after the war ended many remained in service, operating across four decades. Produced in numerous variants, 9,816 Mitchells rolled from NAA factories.
The aircraft was originally intended to be an attack bomber. In September 1939, the Air Corps ordered the NA-62 into production as the B-25, along with the other new Air Corps medium bomber, the Martin B-26 Marauder "off the drawing board".
NAA continued design and development in 1940 and 1941. Both the B-25A and B-25B series entered USAAF service. The B-25B was operational in 1942. Combat requirements led to further developments. Before the year was over, NAA was producing the B-25C and B-25D series at different plants. Also in 1942, the manufacturer began design work on the cannon-armed B-25G series.
The Mitchell fought from the Northern Pacific to the South Pacific and the Far East. The aircraft's potential as a ground-attack aircraft emerged during the Pacific war. The jungle environment reduced the usefulness of medium-level bombing, and made low-level attack the best tactic. An ever-increasing number of forward firing guns made the B-25 a formidable strafing aircraft for island warfare. In Burma, the B-25 was often used to attack Japanese communication links, especially bridges in central Burma.
The first B-25s arrived in Egypt and were carrying out independent operations by October 1942. Operations there against Axis airfields and motorized vehicle columns supported the ground actions of the Second Battle of El Alamein. Thereafter, the aircraft took part in the rest of the campaign in North Africa, the invasion of Sicily and the advance up Italy. In the Strait of Messina to the Aegean Sea the B-25 conducted sea sweeps as part of the coastal air forces. In Italy, the B-25 was used in the ground attack role, concentrating on attacks against road and rail links in Italy, Austria and the Balkans. The B-25 had a longer range than the Douglas A-20 Havoc and Douglas A-26 Invaders, allowing it to reach further into occupied Europe. The five bombardment groups – 20 squadrons – of the Ninth and Twelfth Air Forces that used the B-25 in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations were the only U.S. units to employ the B-25 in Europe.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/27/2019 5:36:41 PM   
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H&L USA Spotters corps full




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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 2/28/2019 5:59:21 PM   
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A military artillery observer or spotter or FO (forward observer) is responsible for directing artillery and mortar fire onto a target, and may be a Forward Air Controller (FAC) for close air support and spotter for naval gunfire support. Also known as "Fire Support Specialist" and the observer usually accompanies a tank or infantry manoeuvre unit. Spotters ensure that indirect fire hits targets which the troops at the fire support base cannot see.
Field Artillery Forward Observer was a World War II Army Officer position. The primary duties was direct the fire of an artillery unit from a forward position. Observes shell bursts and adjusts fire by forward observation or computation methods; consults with commanders of supported unit in determination of appropriate artillery targets, normal barrage, and zones of defense; trains personnel in procedures of artillery operation; organizes observation posts; sets up and maintains communication systems.
Once training is complete members are assigned to a Forward Observer Platoon generally part of a Headquarters and Headquarters Company inside a larger Infantry, Cavalry, Armor, or Artillery Battalion. Observer teams are expected to be able to move, communicate, interact and carry out missions as members of these units with a high level of proficiency in addition to their responsibilities as Forward Observers. Observers must be able to work independently for long periods of time and, because the clandestine nature of their work and their frequent placement on or behind enemy lines, the ability to operate with minimal support is of great importance as some missions can often last for days or weeks.
As 1921 the United States Marine Corps identified Naval Gunfire as one of the six key elements for amphibious operations. The trajectory of high velocity naval artillery was significantly different from field artillery howitzers typically used for gunfire support. Infantry officers were surprised by the inability of flat trajectory naval guns to hit targets behind low hills; and the relatively wide distribution of fall of shot along the axis of fire sometimes endangered friendly troops behind or in front of the target. Shells intended to penetrate armored ships produced a relatively small damage radius against unfortified targets; and shipboard observation devices designed to observe shell splashes at sea were unable to determine whether their shells were striking intended shore targets. Although Marine Corps officers who have served aboard warships are more familiar with naval artillery, Army officers without such experience are often in positions requiring gunfire support during amphibious landings. Naval officers familiar with shipboard guns are able to advise infantry officers ashore concerning the capabilities of naval artillery to engage specific targets. The naval officer's familiarity with shipboard communications systems enables him to translate the infantry objectives and fall of shot observations to the appropriate shipboard personnel for effective engagement of targets. The tentative manual of 1934 became Fleet Training Publication 167 in 1938; and the Army issued a field manual with virtually identical text in 1941. The use of Naval Gunfire Support reached its peak during WWII with the numerous amphibious landings, to include a small number who completed the Army's elite Airborne School and parachuted into Normandy to provide gun fire support for paratroopers during the D-Day landings.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/1/2019 5:32:06 PM   
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H&L USA First Line BAR

The coming of war resulted in the largest expansion of the infantry ever undertaken. During the three years, 1941-43, it increased 600%. Before the conflict ended sixty-seven infantry divisions saw overseas service, plus one mountain and five airborne divisions, as well as a cavalry division which fought as infantry.
On 30 June of 1941, the active armed forces of the United States consisted of nine triangular infantry divisions, 18 square infantry divisions, two cavalry divisions, and four armored divisions. The American expansion of its army truly began with the Japanese attack. By 30 June 1943, the U.S. Army was to add five million men. By 9 March 1942, the Army consisted of 29 infantry divisions of which: 10 were Regular Army, 18 were National Guard, and one was "Army of the United States". The rest of the year 1942 also saw the creation of an additional 38 divisions-27 infantry, nine armored and two airborne. Seventeen divisions were created in 1943. Thus, 91 divisions were activated prior or during to World War II, of which 67 were infantry. The USA had reached superpower status.
Early in the war, the organization of scores of new units proceeded along the lines laid down in the reorganization of 1939. The National Guard, however, entered Federal service in square combinations and retained them until directed to triangularize during the first four months of 1942. In each of the square divisions one whole regiment of infantry had to be cut away and broken up or associated elsewhere. Triangularization brought with it important benefits. Not the least of these was a very simple tactical doctrine which had the advantage of being applicable to the use of units of any size from squad up to division. This doctrine was developed and well established by the time the National Guard was triangularized. Its essence was that one of the three elements of every level, say one regiment, should, in the assault, fix the enemy in position; a second was to maneuver around him, once fixed, in order to strike a decisive blow; while the third element acted as a reserve. The doctrine of fixing the enemy, maneuvering to strike him in flank or rear, all the while holding an element in reserve to exploit an advantage or cover a retreat, was applied in all terrains. Naturally the details of using it varied with geography. Thus in Normandy the hedgerows obliged the infantry to work out a team play with tanks and engineers. Likewise, in the jungles of the Southwest Pacific, the coral atolls of the Central Pacific, the desert of North Africa, and the mountains of Italy, it was necessary to develop the exact means by which the doctrine was applied. But in all cases it required closer-than-ever co-operation with the other arms.
It is clear that no earlier conflict had sent American infantrymen into so many different parts of the world. Although specialized units were at first created to fight in extreme zones, mountain, jungle, and arctic foot soldiers carried, in fact, a very small part of the fighting in extreme climates and terrain. As a result, the standard doughboy took over the job. As late as August 1944, the mood of the front-line infantryman was bitter; they saw themselves as unappreciated and forgotten, kept in combat until exhausted, wounded or killed. A medical officer wrote, "The infantryman is at present the least appropriately rewarded specialist in the Army".





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/2/2019 5:19:53 PM   
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The landing craft mechanized (LCM) is a landing craft designed for carrying vehicles. The Landing Craft, Mechanized (LCM) was produced in seven Marks by the US and Great Britain for their amphibious forces during World War Two. The US Navy, Army, and Coast Guard utilized the Marks 2, 3, and 6. The British forces used the Marks 1, 4, 5, and 7.
In 1941, the US Navy requested designs for an enlarged landing craft that could han-dle and land a light tank. They contacted Higgins Industries in New Orleans and requested a larger design than the LCVP. A few days later, several naval officers traveled to New Orleans to examine some designs. They found a working prototype of the LCM-2, a landing craft with a bow ramp and the ability to carry a 16 ton tank. Higgins had built the LCM prototype in just over 60 hours!, which was then tested before high ranking officials of the Marine Corps and Navy on May 30, 1941.
The LCM-3 was designed to carry and land a 30 ton tank (it could transport a middleweight tank, like the M4 Sherman) or motor vehicles on the beach, or 60 soldiers embarked. Compared with its predecessor, the LCM-2, its length was increased by 1.5 meters to 15.2 meters overall, while the beam remained at 14 feet. The forward draft increased by 0.5 meters to 0.9 meters, while the rear draft remained at four feet. The LCM-3 cargo well was 9.4 meters long and 3 meters wide. Its displacement was 23,587.2 KG light and 47,174.4 KG fully loaded. Power was provided by either two 100 HP, Kermath six cylinder gasoline engines or two 225 HP Gray Marine diesels. The diesel-powered LCM-3's speed was rated at 8 knots (9.2 MP/H) fully loaded and its range was 225.3 Km at full speed. Its maximum endurance was 1,367.9 Km at an economical 6 knots (6.9 MP/H). The steering position was protected by 6mm High Tensile Steel (HTS) and some were fitted with plastic armor on the coxswain's position. The LCM-3 was usually armed with two .50 caliber (12.7mm) Browning M2 (HB; Heavy Barrel) machine guns, situated to either side of the steering position. A few LCM-3s were fitted with rocket racks and redesignated as Landing Craft, Mechanized (Rocket), or LCM-R. They were mainly used in the Pacific until the Landing Craft, Infantry (LCI) and Landing Ship, Medium (LSM) were fitted with rocket launching equipment. Various US shipyards built 8631 LCM-3s during the conflict.
At first view, the LCM looks like the LCVP. Distinctive feature on this type was the high bow-ramp. Further more, with its length of 15.20 meter it was much larger then the LCVP. Another difference was the used material, the LCM was almost completely built out of steel plate (with exception with the early ones, which had wooden coxswains shelters for the compasses, so they would not be affected by the steel).
The LCM from Higgins became the LCM Mk 3, also called the 'tanker lighter'. Higgins built also an extended version of the LCM, the LCM 6. When the production ended, some 11,392 LCM’s were built.
At D-Day there were 486 at hand, 78 were lost during the next two days. In all, 486 LCMs were committed to Operation Neptune, including 358 of the LCM-3 version. The total was almost evenly divided between the U.S. and British navies. Additionally, the U.S. Navy counted almost 1,200 LCMs in the Pacific Fleet, while the Allies listed 280 in the Mediterranean.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/3/2019 8:17:19 PM   
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The Douglas A-20 Havoc (company designation DB-7) is a United States attack, light bomber, intruder, and reconnaissance aircraft of World War II.
In March 1937, a design team headed by Donald Douglas, Jack Northrop, and Ed Heinemann produced a proposal for a light bomber powered by a pair of 450 hp Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior radial engines mounted on a shoulder wing.
The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) issued its own specification for an attack aircraft. The Douglas team headed by Heinemann, took the Model 7A design, upgraded with 1,100 hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engines, and submitted the design as the Model 7B.
Although not the fastest or longest-range aircraft in its class, the Douglas DB-7 series distinguished itself as a tough, dependable combat aircraft with an excellent reputation for speed and maneuverability. Ex-pilots often consider it their favorite aircraft of the war due to the ability to toss it around like a fighter. The Douglas bomber/night fighter was found to be extremely adaptable and found a role in every combat theater of the war, and excelled as a true "pilot's aeroplane".
When DB-7 series production finally ended on 20 September 1944, a total of 7,098 had been built by Douglas and a further 380 by Boeing. As a proof of American excellence in mass production Douglas redesigned its Santa Monica plant to create a mechanized production line to produce A-20 Havocs. The assembly line was over a mile long, but by looping back and forth, fitted into a building that was only 700 feet long. Man-hours were reduced by 50% for some operations. Production tripled.
The USAAC was impressed enough by the A-20A's high power to weight ratio and easy handling characteristics. Two variants were ordered, in a tranche of more than 200 aircraft: the A-20 for high-altitude daylight bombing and the A-20A for low- and medium-altitude missions. It was intended that the high-altitude variant would be fitted with turbosupercharged Wright R-2600-7 engines; after a prototype suffered technical problems, the USAAC changed its order and an initial shipment of 123 A-20As (with less-powerful R-2600-3 engines) and 20 A-20s (R-2600-11) entered service in early 1941. A further 59 aircraft from this first order were received as P-70 night fighters, with two-stage supercharged R-2600-11 engines.

The USAAF received 356, most of which were operated by the 5th Air Force in the South West Pacific theater. When the war started was the 89th Bombardment Squadron which began operations in New Guinea on August 31, 1942. In early 1944, 312th and 417th Bombardment Groups were sent to New Guinea, equipped with A-20s. Most sorties were flown at low level, as Japanese flak was not as deadly as German flak. A-20s were an ideal weapon for pinpoint strikes against aircraft, hangars, and supply dumps. When operating in formation their heavy forward firepower could overwhelm shipboard antiaircraft defenses and at low level they could skip their bombs into the sides of transports and destroyers with deadly effect. With the end of the New Guinea campaign the A-20s squadrons moved to the Philippines and in 1944 three full four-squadron A-20 groups were active in the campaign that led to the invasion of Luzon. After the Philippines were secured, A-20s started attacks on Japanese targets in Formosa.

In Europe, USAAF A-20s were assigned to North Africa and flew their first combat mission from Youks-les-Bains, Algeria, in December 1942. They provided valuable tactical support to allied ground troops, especially during and following the Battle of Kasserine Pass. During the North African campaign, many of the A-20s were fitted with additional forward-firing machine guns. In England, three A-20 equipped Bombardment Groups were assigned to the 9th Air Force and became operational in 1944. They started using the same low-level tactics that had been so successful in the Pacific, but due to heavy German flak, losses were too high and the tactics were changed to medium-level raids.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/4/2019 6:08:36 PM   
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Troops landing by glider were referred to as air-landing as opposed to paratroops. Gliders could land troops and ancillaries in concentrations precisely at the target landing area. Furthermore, the glider, once released at some distance from the actual target, was effectively silent and difficult for the enemy to identify. Glider infantry are loaded into gliders which are attached to towing aircraft by a cable. The loaded gliders are then towed through the air by towing aircraft and flown to a release point usually just beyond the hearing range of enemy troops.
In 1940, Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister, decreed the formation of a British glider force of 5000 gliders. Initially the American Glider Infantry Regiments (GIR) had only two battalions, but later in Europe, the two battalions of the 401st GIR were divided in March 1944 to act as the 3rd battalions of the 325th and 327th GIRs. American plans were on a similar scale. The Allies first used gliders in the invasion of Sicily, Operation Husky, in 1943. This first experiment was disastrous. Poor planning and bad weather resulted in the gliders being scattered in the air. Several landed in the sea and 200 men drowned. Dozens of gliders and tow planes were damaged or shot down by friendly fire. Few gliders reached the intended landing zones, and only 73 men (from most of a brigade) reached the intended target, the Ponte Grande bridge south of Syracuse.
The crews of these aircraft landed their gliders in circumstances which would challenge the most seasoned pilot. Sometimes flying in at night they had but a few moments to pick a likely landing spot, avoid the other gliders making similar approaches and those already on the ground, avoid incoming enemy fire and then land the aircraft without crashing into any trees or ditches.
In both the British and American armies, there was a sense that the glider infantry were poor cousins to the more glamorous paratroopers. In the United States Army, glider troops did not receive the extra pay awarded to paratroopers until after the Normandy invasion (where glider troops provided essential support to the parachute regiments and fought on the front-lines alongside their parachute brethren). This blatant inequality of treatment came to the attention of U.S. Airborne High Command and from that point forward the glider troops were issued the same jump boots and combat gear as paratroopers (including the M1A1 carbine with folding stock) and earned the same pay until the war ended in Europe in May 1945.
Gliders could carry and deliver much bulkier and heavier equipment (such as anti-tank guns, or vehicles such as jeeps or even light tanks) that could not be parachuted from the side-loading transport aircraft normally used in World War 2. Thus glider infantry units were usually better equipped than their parachute infantry counterparts. Any one stick of glider infantry could disembark intact and combat ready, while paratroops needed time after landing to regroup and reorganize before beginning operations. Under ideal conditions, whole glider units could land intact. Unlike drop planes which delivered paratroops, gliders were totally silent and detection by the enemy was difficult, greatly increasing the element of surprise. In fact, completely undetected insertions were possible, especially during night landings. Glider infantry required much less training than parachute infantry. In fact many glider infantry units were simply converted from regular infantry units with only cursory training.
Gliders required a relatively smooth landing area free from obstructions. A common countermeasure against gliders was to sow posts and other obstructions in likely landing areas. Gliders were fragile and glider landings were rough and brutal affairs. All too often, gliders were destroyed during landing attempts, killing or injuring the crew and passengers. In practice, it was difficult for entire units to land together and glider-borne units often ended up even more widely scattered than parachute units. Gliders and towing planes were extremely[citation needed] vulnerable to interception by enemy aircraft while gliders were under tow. Gliders were also helpless against ground fire if they were detected before landing, but the same can be said for any aircraft flying over enemy territory.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/5/2019 6:39:24 PM   
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US Second Line Rifles

Never before had the dough-boys been required to use so bewildering a complex of weapons. Perhaps the most confusing of the latter to adjust to was the greatly enlarged class of defensive weapons, which included land mines and boobytraps. These insidious manglers complicated an infantryman's task and introduced a new type of terror into his campaigning. lie dared no longer even trust the ground, which had always been his close ally. As a result, it was necessary to learn not only to detect and disarm the enemy's mines and traps, but to lay some effectively for his own protection. Also, he had to learn to use demolition charges and often to improvise them out of materials at hand.
To add to the confusion, types of grenades (hand and rifle) were multiplied. What is more, their use vastly increased. Whether the enemy lurked in rocks or in dense vegetation, grenades helped to root him out. To supplement them in the business of dislodging the foe from strong positions, new weapons developed. The most notable of these was a flame thrower which, carried by foot soldiers or mounted on tanks, did terrible execution.
Tank and air enthusiasts, observing the Nazi blitzkrieg, had jumped to the conclusion that infantry could be used only to hold ground taken by armor or by air bombardment. This did not prove to be the case. Although foot soldiers, more than ever before, had to learn to cooperate with tanks and with planes, this did not spare them from having to be in the forefront of almost all important assaults. In short, while they could not advance against the enemy without the aid of tanks, artillery, and air, neither could those arms gain ground or destroy the enemy's will to fight without the aid of the infantry. What was required was not a reshuffling of the importance of the several branches, but the development of better techniques by means of which they could work together. Such techniques were far from perfect when the conflict came to an end.
Battlefield communication continued its trend-which stretched back to the Civil War-toward improvement. For the first time there was radio communication between the elements of a company. By the end of World War II eight radios were included in the rifle company's equipment. Radios and telephones knit companies tighter together, but by no means made them act as one man. Dispersion to avoid the deadly effects of enemy fire threw squads, or fractions of squads, on their own in combat, particularly in dense foliage, in the mountains, and in night operations. This put a heavier-than-ever burden on the ingenuity of squad and platoon leaders, and even on the individual dough-boy.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/6/2019 5:44:59 PM   
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A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.

It doesn't take a hero to order men into battle. It takes a hero to be one of those men who goes into battle.

There are only two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are already dead and those that are gonna die. Now get off your butts, you're the fighting' 29th.

And when he gets to Heaven, to St. Peter he will tell, one more Marine reporting, Sir — I've served my time in Hell.

Today we may say aloud before an awe-struck world: We are still masters of our fate. We are still captain of our souls.

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example.

Always there are dogs in every invasion. There was a dog still on the beach, still pitifully looking for his masters.

He stayed at the water’s edge, near a boat that lay twisted and half sunk at the waterline. He barked appealingly to every soldier who approached, trotted eagerly along with him for a few feet, and then, sensing himself unwanted in all the haste, he would run back to wait in vain for his own people at his own empty boat.

Never throughout history has a man who lived a life of ease left a name worth remembering.

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die.

They seemed terribly pathetic to me. They weren’t warriors. They were American boys who by mere chance of fate had wound up with guns in their hands, sneaking up a death-laden street in a strange and shattered city in a faraway country in a driving rain. They were afraid, but it was beyond their power to quit. … And, even though they weren’t warriors born to the kill, they won their battles.

Dear Madam Bixby,
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle.
I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save.
I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
Abraham Lincoln





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/7/2019 5:51:32 PM   
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About 39% of the new recruits volunteered to serve; the remainder were called up through conscription, also known as the draft. Over 10 million men were inducted into the military while the Selective Training and Service Act was in effect from September 16, 1940, to March 1947. Volunteers came from a variety of sources. Some belonged to training programs at their high schools or colleges, like the Army’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), and entered the military directly from school. Others signed up for duty at one of the many recruiting centers that popped up all over the United States, especially right after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Sidney Phillips of Mobile, Alabama, remembered deciding to join the Navy along with a friend after hearing about the attack. When they met the next morning to go to the recruiter, however, the lines of young men waiting to enlist were already longer than a football field! “We thought we were going to be the early birds,” Phillips recalled. He and his friend ended up joining the Marines, thanks to a shorter line and a persuasive recruiter.
Each branch of military service required different skills, but all new recruits went through a few weeks of basic training, often called “boot camp.” The goal was to turn the wide variety of individuals who entered the service into teams of fighters who could work seamlessly with one another to achieve their objectives. To do this, basic training taught a new recruit to think of himself less as an individual and more as an integral part of his unit. As soon as they arrived, new recruits turned in their civilian clothes and belongings and received standard issue uniforms and equipment. Camp personnel shaved the heads of the recruits and assigned them serial numbers. Platoons of recruits slept, ate, and learned together, and even did hours upon hours of physical fitness training as a unit. Following commands, they practiced the same basic skills over and over— marching, loading, unloading, and cleaning their weapons. Drill instructors used tough methods to force the newcomers to become attentive to detail and protocol. Even the smallest mistakes could result in extra kitchen duty or a challenging physical punishment—sometimes for the entire group.
"It was true we were all volunteers and all of them were young men—18, 19 years old—and all of them wanted to prove that they were men and that they were part of the best and that they were the best. That was true. We were.“ Many veterans remember those first few weeks of basic training as a transformative experience. “When you go through boot camp and they pass you,” recalled Ben Quintana of Mississippi, “you’re ready to fight anything.” Before reporting to a ship or heading overseas, however, most recruits went through more specialized training for their specific duties within their branch of the military. Some learned how to operate radios or other communications equipment. Others trained to use special weapons or invasion techniques. Depending on the assignment, service members sometimes trained at six or more different locations before finally deploying overseas, and even then they might have received further training before seeing action.






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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/8/2019 6:41:28 PM   
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The H-612 was a casemate for field gun, without auxiliary premises. The configuration was very basic, since apart from the firing room in which the cannon was, it only had a small tobruk turret for its defense. Its size in comparison with the rest was quite reduced, being its length of 14.60 meters, its width of 12 meters and its height of only 4.50 meters.
The defensive constructions of the Atlantic Wall correspond to a set of models predefined by the Todt Organization in works known as Regelbauten. These various models correspond to the needs of the military and are adapted to the environment of these installations.
Several categories of buildings exist and are listed by numbers and letters: from number 1 to number 704 for Army installations (Heer).
Several Regelbauten publications have been published since 1938. The main Regelbaut used by the workers of the Todt Organization for the construction of the Atlantic Wall corresponded to the 600 series, available from November 1942 and comprising 108 construction models.
Through the generic term of bunker, one must understand a set of buildings made of reinforced concrete, of different sizes and functions. There are observation posts, individual combat stations, artillery sites, shelters or ammunition bunkers.
These various structures are generally grouped together to form what is commonly referred to as a strongpoint. Among the nearly 700 strongpoints along the Atlantic Wall from Norway to the Spanish Basque Country, role and structures are different from each other.
The strongpoints are grouped under the terms of divisional, coastal, railway and Flak batteries.
Divisional batteries, which are only armed by the Heer, can be protected by concrete constructions (such as field batteries) or disposed at temporary points without strong protections (batteries in field position).
Coastal batteries are armed both by the Heer (HKA: Heeres Künsten Artillery) and by the Kriegsmarine (MKA: Marine Künsten Artillerie). The artillery guns are placed into open-air concrete structures before the allied bombardments forced the Todt Organization to build casemates.
Batteries positioned on tracks, also called Eisenbahn Batterie, have the advantage of being able to be equipped with large caliber guns and are supposed to protect particular points like estuaries and ports.
Finally, the Flak batteries (Flak Abteilung) ensure the protection of particular points against the adverse air attacks.




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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/9/2019 5:56:34 PM   
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All permanent, fortress-type works and many field works are of concrete reinforced with steel. Some field works, however, are of masonry, brick, or timber. Steel also is used in concrete structures for beams, turrets, cupolas, gun shields, machine-gun loopholes, and doors. These installations are prefabricated and are assigned code or model numbers. The concrete works themselves are designated by type number and are constructed from plans prepared in the Anny Ordnance Office.
The usual thickness of concrete walls and roofs is 2 meters; smaller thicknesses are found as a rule only in the small field works. In casemates the minimum thickness of the walls and roof is 2 meters, and generally increases commensurately with the caliber of the gun.
Most German concrete fortifications are reinforced with steel bars running in three dimensions to form cubes of ten or twelve inch sides. The diameter of the bars, _ which are hooked at both ends, varies from 3/3 inch to 5/c inch, the most common size being 1/2 inch. The roof over the interior compartments in most structures is supported by steel I-beams, encased in the concrete roof. The size of the beams depends on length of the span. Steel plates laid between the I-beams, and resting on the lower flanges, form the ceiling of the structure. These plates prevent the inside of the roof from falling if the structure sustains a direct hit from artillery shells or aerial bombs. In some cases, the roof is supported by reinforced-concrete beams instead of the steel I-beams, apparently to save critical material.
From experience in the North African campaign, the Germans derived a type of open, circular pit lined with concrete, which they called a "Tobruk". Hitler subsequently ordered Tobruk pits to be used as defence works in the field, and instructions for building them were distributed down to divisions. A Tobruk pit, which consists of a concrete weapon chamber with a neck-like opening at the top, is built entirely underground. The concrete usually is reinforced.
Tobruks vary in size, depending on the weapon mounted in them, but the diameter of the neck is kept as small as possible to reduce the risk of direct hits. Instructions to German troops insist that a Tobruk should not have a concrete roof, since this would reveal the position to the enemy. A board of irregular shape, used as a lid, camouflages the circular opening and keeps out rain.
The Germans also have used a Tobruk as a base for a tank turret, usually taken from a French Renault 35. Such an installation, called a Panzerstellung, has a turret armed with an anti-tank gun and a machine gun coax sally mounted. The turret is bolted to a circular metal plate, which is rotated by hand on wheels around a track in the top of the pit affording a 360-degree arc of fire.
Other types of the 'Tobruk' could be used to fire mortars from. This last one is recognizable on the little pillar in the middle where the mortar was placed. A little door at the side gave entrance to the bunker, sometimes it had a short stairway.
Tobruk's were also modified to carry turrets of tanks, mostly pre-war turrets. But there were also Tobruks who had the turret of the Panther V.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/10/2019 6:47:49 PM   
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The length of the Atlantic Wall was an 5,300 km as it stretched from Northern Norway along the Atlantic coast to the French border with Spain. The part of the wall facing England was the strongest part of the wall, with the highest number of defenses. Of the bunkers constructed over 600 were of the H-667 type, above. These bunkers were only a tiny piece of a huge complex of over 10,000 bunkers which were constructed in a two year period between 1943 and 1944 as part of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall. The Todt Organisation were responsible for the construction work and it is estimated that in total 13 million cubic meters of concrete were used in the Atlantic Wall.
Most Normandy strongpoints contained one or more artillery weapons, and they were fortified in a variety of ways. The single most common weapon along the Normandy beaches was the German 50mm anti-landing gun in one of its various versions. This had been the principal German tank and anti-tank gun in 1940-42, but with the advent of the thickly armored T-34 and KV tanks on the Russian front, it had become obsolete. Surplus 50mm KwK 39 and KwK 40 tank guns as well as the towed PaK 38 version were remounted on new pedestal mounts (Sockellafetten) with a new spaced armor shield. These were primarily intended for use against landing craft or enemy infantry, and were usually mounted in Vf600 open concrete gun pits for full 360-degree traverse.
The 50mm guns were supplemented with a wide variety of other artillery weapons, usually old field guns in the 75-77mm range. Guns used in Normandy ranged from World War I Austrian mountain guns to World War II Soviet 76mm divisional guns. Some strongpoints mounted the field guns in fully enclosed bunkers, but in other cases they were simply deployed in field entrenchments.
The H-667 bunkers contain anti-tank guns and are orientated to direct fire along the beach and not against ships at sea. For additional protection against naval fire a large thick reinforced concrete wall protects each bunker opening. The bunker was designed to fire along the beach with its curtain wall protecting the gun from offshore fire. Often they were mounted in pairs, facing one another 500 to 800 meters apart.
A small portion of the 50mm guns were mounted in fully casemented bunkers such as the H667 to provide better protection against air attack and naval gunfire, but these better bunkers were usually reserved for larger-caliber guns.
When the Type H-667 housed the 5cm Fest Pak - a redundant tank weapon previously used in the Panzer III, was renewed with a basic box structure as a beach defense weapon and, besides its use in this bunker, was fitted in a number of other fortification types including open ‘Tobruk’ type positions.





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RE: Heroes and Leaders mod - 3/11/2019 6:57:09 PM   
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Most Normandy strongpoints contained one or more artillery weapons, and they were fortified in a variety of ways. The single most common weapon along the Normandy beaches was the German 50 mm anti-landing gun in one of its various versions. This had been the principal German tank and anti-tank gun in 1940-42, but with the advent of the thickly armored T-34 and KV tanks on the Russian front, it had become obsolete. Surplus 50 mm KwK 39 and KwK 40 tank guns as well as the towed PaK 38 version were remounted on new pedestal mounts (Sockellafetten) with a new spaced armor shield. These were primarily intended for use against landing craft or enemy infantry, and were usually mounted in Vf600 open concrete gun pits for full 360-degree traverse. A small portion of the 50 mm guns were mounted in fully casemented bunkers to provide better protection against air attack and naval gunfire, but these better bunkers were usually reserved for larger-calibre guns. The 50 mm guns were supplemented with a wide variety of other artillery weapons, usually old field guns in the 75-77 mm range. Guns used in Normandy ranged from World War I Austrian mountain guns to World War II Soviet 76 mm divisional guns. Some strongpoints mounted the field guns in fully enclosed bunkers, but in other cases they were simply deployed in field entrenchments.
Among the most lethal fortifications deployed in Normandy strongpoints were a family of special casemates designed for enfilade fire by heavy anti-tank guns. Even fully enclosed bunkers were vulnerable to naval gunfire around their unprotected gun embrasure, so these enfilade-fire casemates oriented the embrasure perpendicular to the shoreline and shielded it using a reinforced wall facing the sea. The most powerful of these were the bunkers armed with the 88 mm PaK 43/41. Due to the considerable range of the 88 mm gun, a single bunker of this type would be used to cover 3 km or more of coastline. In the case of Omaha Beach, there were two bunkers at the eastern and western end of the beach that could cover the entire 7 km of beach between them. Besides the 88 mm enfilade-fire bunkers, there were similar designs: the bunkers armed with the 50 mm gun and the bunkers but intended to house 75 mm guns.
In the strongpoints built in the towns, the troops were usually garrisoned in houses near the beach, some of which were reinforced with fighting positions. Bunkers were also constructed to store munitions and supplies. There was generally a single command bunker in each strongpoint, sometimes supported by a dedicated observation bunker for associated artillery forward observers with a communication bunker to connect with higher headquarters. The strongpoints were usually ringed with barbed-wire obstructions and sometimes with minefields. Within the strongpoints, networks of communication trenches and firing pits supported the bunkers. Priority for bunker construction went to the coastal strongpoints. A smaller number of additional strongpoints were created a short distance inland, but generally the D-Day fortifications lacked any true defence-in-depth. Most inland strongpoints were intended to cover important access routes off the beach. In addition, some strongpoints were created inland to serve as battalion or regimental headquarters.





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