Originally Posted by dgfred
Good post T.A.
What if the situation is turned around. Does a Brit/Amer tank leader charge into the town taking on a German force spotted? Just curious what y'all think.
Maybe just call in Air and Arty?
First it would be scouting forces that found them... most of the time... Usually either light tanks or armored cars and jeeps. If a hasty attack was called for on the spot then those forces would have radioed back to higher command and gotten reinforcements moving to support their attack.
I would say company strength or greater tanks moving towards the position along with either leg infantry on the tanks or armored infantry moving up.
Even a cavalry unit would have called in their light tanks and assault gun troop (6 or 8 M8 MGC) to support.
Artillery would have followed that with fires on targets those in contact could call it in on.
If you look at small unit actions the Germans typically fight with what they have on hand when the action starts. Reinforcing units are not all that common an occurance.
The Americans and Russians on the offensive both practice an 'expanding torrent' of forces pouring more and more stuff into any half way successful attack.
A typical situation like Villers Brocage might be a cavalry unit like TF Bacon at Metz. This was a scratch unit formed from cavalry troops and supported by some engineers and tank destroyers. A leg infantry battalion was attached from 90th ID and rode on the vehicles.
The Task Force advanced up two parallel roads where they could support each other. Near the front of each column was an M12 SPG that was used to oblitherate German strong points that the column encountered.
If resistance was stiff the column spread out to each side of the road and the infantry supported by armored cars and tank destroyers mounted an assault on foot. The two columns acted in unison so if one met resistance the other would frequently swing into the flank of the defenders.
This reinforced infantry battalion tore the 1216th regiment of the 19th VG apart forcing it to fall back fighting disorganized local actions. At Fort St. Julien, a medieval castle near Metz the column used an M12 to smash down the castle gates and allow the unit to force the causeway across a 10 yard wide moat.
The next day the engineers went in with satchel charges and cleared the remaining resistance out blowing up a good part of the castle.
The difference is that the US columns had scouts with them. They had a combined arms force of sufficent size to overcome enemy resistance they met. The columns worked in unison having good communications.
Had they met resistance too strong to penetrate they could have held their ground while they got reinforcements.
That differs from late war German practice of having small independently operating columns with limited support and no scouting assets. It makes a difference when things have some coordination to them. It makes a difference when you find the enemy on your terms rather than run headlong into them in a surprise.