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Armor in World War II Discuss all aspects & disciplines of World War II Armor here.

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  #31  
Old 06 Dec 16, 17:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
The halftracks the French use are unarmored...

Spot-on with the info., again

However, at least they had halftracks. Each Panzer Div had enough 251s for a Company, on the average. They never made enough Halftracks, I wonder why...

Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
But French doctrine intrudes again giving their artillery far less flexibility and placing the 75mm guns too far forward most of the time.
.
Putting SOME of them forward would seem to be a great idea, but not all.
It would give the Battalions the same support that specialized Infantry Guns of the German army did, without the specialized gear.

The French 75 would also have been a killer AT gun, as the Germans used some for that in Russia... but I doubt the French ever used them that way.
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  #32  
Old 06 Dec 16, 18:04
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The Germans used Halftracks to pull artillery and AA weapons. In fact the Germans used them in more and more applications as the war went on. Each year the Germans added more Mechanized units and still had to replace battle casualties. Some units like the Panzer Brigades in 1944 were a waste as they should have sent men and equipment to the veteran units.

Late in the war, they did start mounting Recon dismounts in the German version of a Jeep, which meant fewer Halftracks were being "diverted" to less useful roles. Was the use of Halftracks as AA weapons mounts useful or a waste of resources?

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  #33  
Old 06 Dec 16, 22:45
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I wsa referring to the Sdkfz 251, the armored personnel carrier of the day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
...Was the use of Halftracks as AA weapons mounts useful or a waste of resources?

Pruitt
Not to them. The Germans started out with a single 20mm on a 1 ton halftrack, and ended the war with Quads and even a 37mm mounted on the 8-ton jobs.

They also went with tank-mounted weapons in the same class, and I think they did (and continued with the Gepard post-war) because SP-AA intended to escort the tanks had to be able to go everywhere the tanks could go ... and had no business going anywhere the tanks could not go.
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  #34  
Old 07 Dec 16, 00:53
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The Wehrmacht had a full range of Halftracks in several sizes ranging from the SD Kfz 250 (mini), 251 (medium) to the SD Kfz 6. I am not counting the SP variants or the Kittenrad. They could have converted more French and Czech tanks to SP AA vehicles and reserved the 251 for the Panzergrenadiers. I can't say how many more 251's would have been allocated to them. They may have only kept up with combat losses.

Looking back, did the SD Kfz really help the Recon units that much? They could have made do with Kubelwagens.

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  #35  
Old 07 Dec 16, 07:26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
In tanks, you're correct. The French ones are better armored and have decent guns but they also generally lack radios, have one man turrets, and are clumsy in terms of tactical handling.
OK, the point you were making is that the Allie sdid not have anything comparable to the Panzerdivision, meant as an independent, complete and combined-arms unit. The French had the DLM, that IMHO qualifies.
That the French tanks were different from the German ones is neither here nor there; several of your other points also are neither here nor there.

Quote:
Too bad that amounts to just three companies of infantry. Like the DLC, the DLM's "infantry" component is long on heavy weapons and very short on warm bodies with rifles.
Yes, the Battalion de Dragons Portés amounts to three companies of infantry. Plus one company of automitrailleuses and one heavy company (two MG platoons, one mortar platoon, one ATG platoon).
By comparison, the Schützenabteilung of a Panzerdivision had, well... three infantry companies. And one MG company (2 MG platoons, 1 mortar platoon) and one heavy company (one ATGplatoon and one IG platoon).
I fail to see how the French battalion is so much punier than the German one.


Quote:
The halftracks the French use are unarmored...
Yeah. As we all know. And? They are just as unarmored as nearly all the vehicles used by the motorized infantry of the Panzerdivisionen of 1940. Trucks. There was about one company of APC-traveling infantry per brigade. Which means, per Panzerdivision.
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  #36  
Old 08 Dec 16, 15:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
...
Looking back, did the SD Kfz really help the Recon units that much? They could have made do with Kubelwagens.

Pruitt
They didn't get the 250 until Barbarossa, but -

Speaking as an old Scout, not only no but Hell no.

If you are doing a "hard" recon or have to press forward under fire, armor or anything else that can keep you alive is extremely helpful. Otherwise, a handful of machine-gun nests can stop your Scouts and the regular infantry has to deploy... thus the classic Holding Action can really slow you down.
Also; the Sdkfz. 250 could carry twice as many men as a typical 4x4.

They typical Recon Battalion had a Company of Armored Cars, one of Motorcycles (replaced by Schwimwagons or other cars as the war went on) and one of ... dismounting infantry to get the kind of jobs done that you have to do on foot.
Towns and villages have to be investigated too.

Motorcycles are fast, can get into all sorts of places, and pretty flexible. They are also noisy, vulnerable and can't carry heavy weapons.
Armored cars are great, but they carry no Grunts.

So, yeah, some sort of APC is needed for the kind of comprehensive recon you want on a major battlefield.
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  #37  
Old 08 Dec 16, 15:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele View Post
OK, the point you were making is that the Allie sdid not have anything comparable to the Panzerdivision, meant as an independent, complete and combined-arms unit. The French had the DLM, that IMHO qualifies.
That the French tanks were different from the German ones is neither here nor there; several of your other points also are neither here nor there.
Correct. The French didn't have a combined arms armored division of any sort. The DLM and DLC were designed for screening and reconnaissance. The DCR was really just a big bunch of tanks held in reserve under a unified command.

Quote:
Yes, the Battalion de Dragons Portés amounts to three companies of infantry. Plus one company of automitrailleuses and one heavy company (two MG platoons, one mortar platoon, one ATG platoon).
By comparison, the Schützenabteilung of a Panzerdivision had, well... three infantry companies. And one MG company (2 MG platoons, 1 mortar platoon) and one heavy company (one ATGplatoon and one IG platoon).
I fail to see how the French battalion is so much punier than the German one.
Incorrect. Each battalion in the BDP had just one company of infantry, one of AMR and one of heavy weapons. That makes the French battalions far smaller. The French ones were more akin to what the US had in a mechanized cavalry regiment later.

Quote:
Yeah. As we all know. And? They are just as unarmored as nearly all the vehicles used by the motorized infantry of the Panzerdivisionen of 1940. Trucks. There was about one company of APC-traveling infantry per brigade. Which means, per Panzerdivision.
The OP is was commenting on made it sound (at least to me) like the French were using halftracked APC like the Sdkfz 251 or M3. I wanted to point out that wasn't the case.
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  #38  
Old 08 Dec 16, 16:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Incorrect. Each battalion in the BDP had just one company of infantry, one of AMR and one of heavy weapons. That makes the French battalions far smaller. The French ones were more akin to what the US had in a mechanized cavalry regiment later.
Order of Battle
Division Légère Mécanique (1940)
:



Here is the infantry component:
Quote:
2 squadrons of riflemen with 3 combat platoons and 1 MG platoon. The combat platoon had 4 cross-country Laffly S20 TL trucks with one command squad of 7 men (with 1 VB rifle grenadier) and 3 combat squads of 10 men with 2 LMGs and 1 VB rifle grenadier each (the second LMG was affected to the truck but could be dismounted to increase the squad firepower. The MG platoon had 3 cross-country Laffly S20 TL trucks with 4 MMGs (5-men crew) and a command squad of 8 men. In addition to these platoons, the riflemen squadron had 1 60-mm mortar (7-men crew in one cross-country Laffly S20 TL truck) and a command platoon of 30 to 40 men with 5 cross-country Laffly S20 TL trucks. Therefore, each riflemen squadron had about 200 men with 21 cross-country Laffly S20 TL trucks, 18 LMGs, 12 VB rifle grenade launchers, 4 MMGs and 1 60mm mortar.
Erik Barbanson in his book La 1re DLM Au Combat provides a breakdown of the strength of the unit on the 10th of May 1940. The 4e Regiment de Dragons Portes (RDP) was serving with the 1ere DLM. It was comprised of three battallions , each battallion having as part of its makeup two escadrons de fusiliers volitgeurs (FV). Escadron had a command platoon, three infantry platoons (Each one made up of 1 officer 4 subofficers and 36 men (with 6 FM per platoon)) and a machine gun platoon. Total effectives for the squadron 5 officers, 22 sub officers 171 men.

So that gives each battalion essentially two infantry companies.
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  #39  
Old 09 Dec 16, 05:58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
Order of Battle
Division Légère Mécanique (1940)
:



Here is the infantry component:


Erik Barbanson in his book La 1re DLM Au Combat provides a breakdown of the strength of the unit on the 10th of May 1940. The 4e Regiment de Dragons Portes (RDP) was serving with the 1ere DLM. It was comprised of three battallions , each battallion having as part of its makeup two escadrons de fusiliers volitgeurs (FV). Escadron had a command platoon, three infantry platoons (Each one made up of 1 officer 4 subofficers and 36 men (with 6 FM per platoon)) and a machine gun platoon. Total effectives for the squadron 5 officers, 22 sub officers 171 men.

So that gives each battalion essentially two infantry companies.
I had already posted the link here
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...98&postcount=9

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick the Noodle View Post
I found these:
DLM: http://enpointe.chez-alice.fr/dlm.html
DCR: http://enpointe.chez-alice.fr/dcr.html
DLC: http://enpointe.chez-alice.fr/dlc.html

They look correct to me, are at least French sites, but if anyone has better info please post .
Thanks for the additional info.
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  #40  
Old 09 Dec 16, 17:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
Order of Battle
Division Légère Mécanique (1940)
:



Here is the infantry component:


Erik Barbanson in his book La 1re DLM Au Combat provides a breakdown of the strength of the unit on the 10th of May 1940. The 4e Regiment de Dragons Portes (RDP) was serving with the 1ere DLM. It was comprised of three battallions , each battallion having as part of its makeup two escadrons de fusiliers volitgeurs (FV). Escadron had a command platoon, three infantry platoons (Each one made up of 1 officer 4 subofficers and 36 men (with 6 FM per platoon)) and a machine gun platoon. Total effectives for the squadron 5 officers, 22 sub officers 171 men.

So that gives each battalion essentially two infantry companies.
Okay, let's go with 2 companies. That's still way short of what a panzer division has in the way of troops at the time. DLM = 6 infantry companies total, versus 12 in a panzer division.
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  #41  
Old 10 Dec 16, 14:02
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Too few by half, but then the Panzer Divs had twice as many tanks, their proportion was about the same if that 6 and 12 figure is correct.

But then again, the Mark I was just a mobile Machine-gun nest, and the Mark II wasn't much better.

I think I will start another thread to talk about the Panzer Divisions, this was supposed to be about the French ones and how oddly they came off.
IMHO, those 33 Battalions scattered hither and yon is what really killed it for them.
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Old 10 Dec 16, 16:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Exorcist View Post
I think I will start another thread to talk about the Panzer Divisions, this was supposed to be about the French ones and how oddly they came off.
IMHO, those 33 Battalions scattered hither and yon is what really killed it for them.
About half those separate battalions were composed of FT 17. That is about as obsolescent as you can get for 1940. They really weren't suited for anything else. As tanks in an armored division of some sort they'd have been useless. The Char 2C was the same way. A behemoth of obsolete design.

Others were as suited to French armored divisions as the tanks actually in them. The FCM 36 or Char D1 and 2 were certainly good vehicles. But, the later were deployed to North Africa as part of French forces there, so their being in separate battalions makes sense. The FCM was the only diesel powered tank in the French inventory and there are just two battalions in existance. That would have complicated logistics so separate battalions make sense again.
There were also a couple of tank battalions of H35 in North Africa as well. Had the French survived longer, I could see the units in North Africa possibly forming a colonial armored division.
But, on the whole, out of that 33 battalions you are realistically looking at a mere handful in France, at most, that would have been suitable for employment in a larger armored division.
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Old 10 Dec 16, 21:56
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I have to argue with that.
The FT-17s should have made up the bulk of what was overseas, and those FMCs should have been right there with them.

Quote:
33 Indépendant Battalions sent to various Infantry Divisions, and 12 Indépendant Companies as follows;

Twenty Battalions with R-35 light tanks.
Two with H-39 light tanks
two with FCM-36 light tanks
eight with obsolete FT-17 from WW1
and one with the Char 2C (never saw action)
All had 45 tanks except the FT-17 units that had 63, and only a few Char-2C were ever built.
So, those eight an the FCM and the Char-2c are out, leaving 22 Battalions... say 15 for argument's sake.
Five regiments, all of whom could have been merged with independent heavy or medium companies and motorized infantry & support to build a kick-ass Armored Division.

However, that would have had to have been done before the war started.
I have also read that none of the DLMs or DCRs were formed before 1939, and few had any chance to train together at all.
That is just catastrophic, talk about an army that was doomed from the start...
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Old 12 Dec 16, 04:37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Okay, let's go with 2 companies. That's still way short of what a panzer division has in the way of troops at the time. DLM = 6 infantry companies total, versus 12 in a panzer division.
Even if that were correct, that would be the actual strength of one DLM, whereas you had started with the on-paper strength of the theoretical, but never existing in reality, Panzerdivision.

I see a problem with such an approach, don't you?

That said, the 3ème DLM had, on the contrary, and in reality, not as an on-paper ideal,

6 truck-mounted companies of Dragons,
3 motor-cycle mounted companies of Dragons,
total 9 motorized infantry companies.

By way of comparison, the 2. Panzerdivision had, also as "Ist" (actual) strength,

1 armored halftrack-mounted company of Schützen,
6 truck-mounted companies of Schützen,
4 motorcycle-mounted companies of Schützen.

So it's 11 to 9, as opposed to the 12 to 3 you were talking about a few posts ago. Less infantry, yes, but nowhere near the staggering difference you incorrectly presented.

Please acknowledge.
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Old 12 Dec 16, 10:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeDiem View Post
Here is the infantry component:


Erik Barbanson in his book La 1re DLM Au Combat provides a breakdown of the strength of the unit on the 10th of May 1940. The 4e Regiment de Dragons Portes (RDP) was serving with the 1ere DLM. It was comprised of three battallions , each battallion having as part of its makeup two escadrons de fusiliers volitgeurs (FV). Escadron had a command platoon, three infantry platoons (Each one made up of 1 officer 4 subofficers and 36 men (with 6 FM per platoon)) and a machine gun platoon. Total effectives for the squadron 5 officers, 22 sub officers 171 men.

So that gives each battalion essentially two infantry companies.
The 4ème RDP also had its motorcyclist company in each of its three battalions, according to the following sources:

http://cavaliers.blindes.free.fr/rgt...dragonsh3.html

https://clausuchronia.wordpress.com/...ique-1ere-dlm/

Are you sure the motorcyclist company is not mentioned in the source you quoted?
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