Early British Platoon Video

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andysyk
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Re: Early British Platoon Video

Post by andysyk » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:19 pm

11 man sections at that point so 3D per Section, but it was an Administrative Org, as noted above 8 men was the Fighting Strength the other 3 if present would be Left Out Of Battle, the manuals and film shows 8 men for Battle Drill, the 1944 Manual has increased this to 10 men so I guess the 10 man Fighting Strength came in when the WE changed. So strictly 1940 even if on the 1940 WE Table youre Platoons have 8 man Sections.
It does answer the question of how the AT Rifle was used though.
What I found really interesting was that the 3 man LMG teams didn't take part in the Close Assault directly.

andysyk
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Re: Early British Platoon Video

Post by andysyk » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:28 pm

Of course the lone MMG team is daft but there is a serious lesson here.

One automatic weapon team is the most opposition a Platoon in conventional warfare attack was expected to be able to tackle. Even a full strength German Rifle Section in defence would be too much for this Platoon.

A well led/handled Section will keep a Platoon at bay.

The book enemy for the Section attack was a 2-3 man OP post of rifle armed men.

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Arlequín
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Re: Early British Platoon Video

Post by Arlequín » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:14 pm

andysyk wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:19 pm
It does answer the question of how the AT Rifle was used though.
Yes, the 3rd Section became three teams, still under the JL and was now the 'Anti-tank Section'.

The Bren didn't have a bayonet so couldn't play. ;)

I would imagine that if the assault failed, the Bren groups covered the retreat. There were two sections there, so both rifle groups were in the assault and both Bren groups behind. Effectively an ad-hoc rifle-only section and a Bren section in CoC terms. Oddly it was identical to an attack using the old four section model of Pre-1937, which did have two LMG sections and two rifle/bomber sections.

The attacking force should be three times a defending force in prepared positions. Section attacks team, platoon attacks section, company attacks platoon. A platoon attack against an MG (a section's worth of firepower) would seem valid. Don't forget these guys weren't playing a game.

;)

andysyk
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Re: Early British Platoon Video

Post by andysyk » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:31 pm

Yes I the BRENS would of supported the fleeing riflemen but why didn't they stick them on a flank and support the assault?. But earlier it also says that the supporting section stops firing as the Close assault goes in. Ive noticed this in the manuals also, post war in my unit you increased the fire as the assault went in but switched it slightly to the left or right of the position so that the enemy kept his head down. Sometimes as our assaults went in your own rounds were very close.

Snotty
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Re: Early British Platoon Video

Post by Snotty » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:10 pm

A fine bunch of Welshmen there. Sergeant Jones, Sergeant Jones, me being Jones as well... Confusing isn't it :lol:

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Arlequín
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Re: Early British Platoon Video

Post by Arlequín » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:33 pm

... and the Jones' Boys ba dum tish! ;)

I think one of the training centres where they filmed was in N Shropshire, S Cheshire, or Flintshire? (Wrexham rings a bell), hence the heavy Welsh presence. Why there? I guess they thought training on the very ground they would have to retreat to after invasion might be of help.
;)

Andy I can only guess it was because of friendlies in the smoke screen, or that the film was supposed to just relay the basic concept. The advance with bayonet only was a bit Colonel Blimp itself.

The finer points of enfilading fire, supporting from the flanks of the assault et al, were probably taught in the flesh. I mean, what's the point of having No.1 and No.2 bombers if they don't bomb?

There's an example of section battle drill by the numbers on the parade ground somewhere which totally scales down and abstracts the concept from how it would later be taught in the field... but it worked apparently.

andysyk
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Re: Early British Platoon Video

Post by andysyk » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:51 pm

There is a film on youtube showing the parade ground drill, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEuP73s8nuw

Its also in the manuals. And Ive read of its use as training in accounts, one by a chap in the Pathfinders who said it was a waste of time.

Post war I never did it on the parade ground, all in the field.

But at the time it was a new concept and drill was the way you learnt everything. I can see its value for introducing a new idea in what was a very traditional environment.

Actually its in the period manuals to cease fire as the assault goes in, saying that it should be maintained as long as possible from 90 degrees if possible. Just like the film. It does say if you relent to soon the enemy will quickly recover. I guess switching fire was a tactic learnt "on the job" as it were.

Yes we always bombed in the Close assault, always found it amusing that the Germans get a special rule for it.

Mind you always found the BREN gun special rule a bit strange as well. It was too accurate for its role and it was not seen as an advantage in fact a method called "Tapping The Butt" was widely used in WW2 to counter the accuracy and increase the dispersion of fire. Also there is really is no reason why any LMG couldn't be used to target a specific team.

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Arlequín
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Re: Early British Platoon Video

Post by Arlequín » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:19 pm

British Post-War doctrine would be built on lessons learnt from WWII I'd assume. So what hadn't worked would have been dropped (hopefully). Coal always looks better white too.

Reading American stuff, their think-tanks tried to canvas the opinions of combat leaders at the end of the war and as it didn't match what they expected and wanted, ignored it by and large and went on with their own ideas, which were usually contrary to each other too.

andysyk
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Re: Early British Platoon Video

Post by andysyk » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:59 pm

Of course this Platoon is post France 1940.

I can find no evidence of Battle Drill in use in France?. Sections were 8 men, no Gun Group, BREN operated by one man.

The Manual was Infantry Section Leading 1938 which described a Section as above, which wasn't amended until 1941 and I havnt seen the amendment, but I have a book which shows the same diagrams as those in the 1944 manual with 8 men instead of the 10 of the 44 manual. Did those 8 man diagrams come from the 41 amendment.

The First Battle School was founded in 1941 by the 47th Division. Formed as a response to what was perceived as a lack of tactical ability in the Infantry.

Battle Drill is recorded in many instances as being met with poor reception by traditionalists in the Infantry which surely means it was taught in units prior to 41, most cases it would seem 42 when the GHQ Home Forces Battle School was formed.
Wigram wrote Battle Drill Section what became "Infantry Training " Part VIII 1944 which replaced the Infantry Section Leading.

So shouldn't 1940 sections be Team less?

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Arlequín
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Re: Early British Platoon Video

Post by Arlequín » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:12 pm

We're crossing over two topics, so I suggest we continue the Brit stuff here, or better yet, start a new topic. But yes, I can see nothing at this point that argues for 'teams within a section', other than ad-hoc ones created on the bounce, in 1940.

Most readily available manuals go from 1941, so that is probably when everything began to change from the Pre-War way of doing things.

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