Which WWII squad tactic do you prefer?




View Poll Results :Which squad tactic do you prefer?
German tactic, The machine gun as the main squad weapon 12 60.00%
American tactic, The riflemen as the main squad weapon 8 40.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

 
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April 15th, 2005  
gladius
 

Topic: Which WWII squad tactic do you prefer?


One of threads in here got me interested in this particular subject.

I believe the main difference between German and American squad tactics in WW II was their philosophy in the employment of the machine gun.

For the Germans the machine gun was the main weapon of the squad, the riflemen supported it. They laid down suppressive fire and worked to give it time to be employed so that it could rake fire on the enemy.

The main advantage of this IMO would be that you would have your most powerful weapon forward and would be the main axis of you advance. The disadvantage would that it would be less fluid since you had a larger weapon to move around and also set up.

The Americans on the other hand used the machine gun to support the riflemen. It was used to suppress the enemy and lay down covering fire to allow the rifleman to do their job.

The main advantage of this IMO is that it was more fluid and could move faster. The disadvatage was that there was less firepower on the main thrust of the attack.

I kind of like the idea of the MG as the main weapon. But I don't know if its the better tactic, its really hard to say which is better.

What do you guys think?
April 15th, 2005  
WarMachine
 
 
who chopped down more people, the germans.
April 15th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
The German infantry squad tactics were one of the reasons why Germany in the last year of war was still able to inflict heavy casualties on the Allies despite everything going against them. Of course, it was well suited to defense and had the Germans adopted 'elastic defence' (as Guderian and Manstein advised) on the Eastern Front in 1943 instead of going ahead with Kursk, then the war may have turned out differently.
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April 15th, 2005  
A Can of Man
 
 
Yes it's really about what you want. The MG based tactic is superb for defending.
Fluidity in movement is what's really needed in attack though. Nowadays with the SAW class weapons, the American tactic is probably king.
April 15th, 2005  
gladius
 
I agree, tactics have evolved. Weapons have changed slightly, I'm all for giving fewer men more firepower. Instead of using the MG for either main or support weapon, just give everyone an MG or something close to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Of course, it was well suited to defense and had the Germans adopted 'elastic defence' (as Guderian and Manstein advised) on the Eastern Front in 1943 instead of going ahead with Kursk, then the war may have turned out differently.
What exaltly is 'elastic defense'?

Was that Manstein's mobile war? Or the concept of using the false line to absorb Russian artillery?
April 15th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gladius
I agree, tactics have evolved. Weapons have changed slightly, I'm all for giving fewer men more firepower. Instead of using the MG for either main or support weapon, just give everyone an MG or something close to it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
Of course, it was well suited to defense and had the Germans adopted 'elastic defence' (as Guderian and Manstein advised) on the Eastern Front in 1943 instead of going ahead with Kursk, then the war may have turned out differently.
What exaltly is 'elastic defense'?

Was that Manstein's mobile war? Or the concept of using the false line to absorb Russian artillery?
Mobile war yes. It was suggested by Manstein, who had the full support of Guderian and some other far-sighted Generals. Instead of launching Operation Zitadelle (the German attack at Kursk) Manstein proposed utilising an elastic defence strategy, whereby German units would feint retreat at various places or alternatively, where Soviet offensive pressure was most obvious German units would simply give ground and lull the enemy into a false sense of security.

Manstein's alternate plan for Kursk called for Army Group South to feint retreat all along the southern German defensive line and then, once the Red Army had over extended their advance, he would launch a pincer attack from Kharkov and trap the Soviet Armies against the Sea of Azov, thereby cutting them off from their supply base and destroying them. Manstein believed that this would destroy at least 4 entire Soviet Armies and blow the Soviet defensive line wide open. Hitler did not approve the plan though because a) he thought it too risky and b) he hated the idea of having to retreat under any circumstances. Just as well for us because those elastic or 'fluid' defence tactics could have forced a stalemate in the East, with the implications that there would have been a much stronger German presence in Western Europe come June 6th, 1944.
April 15th, 2005  
gladius
 
Its scary to think how much genius some of those guys had if it had been put to use as they had wanted.

With the mass panzer forces (especially with the new Tigers and Panthers) assemble at Kursk diverted like Manstien had wanted for his 'elastic defense', no doubt they could destroyed or at the least severely mauled 4 entire Soviet armies.

As far as squad tactics go, does anyone know if todays Bundeswere use the same squad based tactics as in WWII or did they change it?
April 15th, 2005  
Doppleganger
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gladius
Its scary to think how much genius some of those guys had if it had been put to use as they had wanted.

With the mass panzer forces (especially with the new Tigers and Panthers) assemble at Kursk diverted like Manstien had wanted for his 'elastic defense', no doubt they could destroyed or at the least severely mauled 4 entire Soviet armies.

As far as squad tactics go, does anyone know if todays Bundeswere use the same squad based tactics as in WWII or did they change it?
No doubt. Manstein was a strategic genius and probably the most complete commander since Napoleon.

The Bundeswehr are more likely to use the US model today but don't quote me on that.
April 15th, 2005  
c/Commander
 
 
I'm going to have to go with the US tactics. The Germans lost the war to them.

Also, MGs are not the best for offensive tactics...especially the '42s. You have to lug 'em around, which makes u a really nice-looking target.
April 17th, 2005  
gladius
 
There are pluses and minuses to both tactics, and its nice to see someone speak up for the American side.

I'm willing to bet the US infantry were the hardest opponents for the Germans to fight as far as squad level fighting went.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger
No doubt. Manstein was a strategic genius and probably the most complete commander since Napoleon.
My, my, your avatar has changed...