The VB Junior Leader In the Gembloux PSC

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Groupe_Franc
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The VB Junior Leader In the Gembloux PSC

Post by Groupe_Franc » Tue May 21, 2019 1:24 am

In the 1940 Blitzkrieg supplement, the VB-Grenadier Junior Leader is listed as having his own grenade launcher. But the VB Junior Leader has no weapon listed. Can I assume that this is an oversight? TIA

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: The VB Junior Leader In the Gembloux PSC

Post by Truscott Trotter » Tue May 21, 2019 1:52 am

Well all the OOB's I can see have 1 VB launcher so the grouping must be adhoc
http://enpointe.perso.infonie.fr/di.html
pr maybe someone can work though the mix of French and English here?
http://20thcenturyplatoons.blogspot.com ... atoon.html
Just cos he is the corporal of the VB don't always mean he HAS a VB!

batesmotel34
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Re: The VB Junior Leader In the Gembloux PSC

Post by batesmotel34 » Tue May 21, 2019 1:07 pm

Since he is listed with no weapon at all, I would assume he is armed as in the with a rifle with VB as in the Blitzkrieg handbook. Looks like an oversite and this PSC seems to have needed a bit more proof reading. The paragraph about treating the CO's and men's opinions for the regiment as a whole is repeated in both the section about replacements and reinforcements and then specifically in the French briefing but not in the German. (I'm assuming it should apply to both sides but the intent isn't completely clear.)

Chris

Groupe_Franc
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Re: The VB Junior Leader In the Gembloux PSC

Post by Groupe_Franc » Tue May 21, 2019 7:27 pm

For the French, the Replacements and Reinforcements section specifies the men's opinion as +1. In the campaign briefing it is given as 0. Which is correct? As a Francophile I'd prefer +1 especially as the 1st DIM was one of the better divisions. But I'm open to opinions.

gebhk
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Re: The VB Junior Leader In the Gembloux PSC

Post by gebhk » Thu May 23, 2019 1:29 pm

The received wisdom is, overwhelmingly, that the platoon Caporal V-B was equipped with his own Lebel 86/93 rifle and V-B launcher. However, when searching for any confirmation in official French publications from the period I've found a big, fat zero. I thought I'd hit paydirt, when I finally found my Polish translation of the 1939 French reserve officer's manual, only to discover that the authors had very optimistically assumed the future organisation involving 50mm mortars! Still exploring one, last avenue.

TT - you are quite right, although 'ad hoc' is probably over-egging it a tad. The 'trombloniers' were part of their respective sections. However, they could be detached (like the Napoleonic grenadiers of old) to form a grenadier section under the command of the platoon caporal V-B for specific missions - to bring down a 'grenade barrage' on a high-value target. This was part of SOP rather than 'ad hoc'.

When the platoons were modernised, this should have simplified things. The V-B grenadiers were withdrawn from the squads and attached permanently to platoon headquarters - forming, along with the former caporal V-B, the Lt mortar team of 4. Since the new MAS 36 rifle could fire the V-B (unlike the previous standard Berthier 07/15 rifles and carbines), anyone in the squad could use it except the LMG gunner. Consequently, while the specialist V-B grenadier with his Lebel 86/93 rifle disappeared, that does not necessarily mean the V-Bs disappeared too. It would appear that by-and-large they remained - at least while stocks of ammo lasted, but generally on a 3 per platoon ratio.

Needless to say, things became even more complicated where a platoon got the new mortar but no new rifles. To keep the V-B meant having to keep one antiquated Lebel 86/93 per launcher. Clearly some commanders thought it wasn't worth the faff and got rid of them, but by no means all.

Groupe_Franc
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Re: The VB Junior Leader In the Gembloux PSC

Post by Groupe_Franc » Fri May 24, 2019 2:29 am

The TO&E for the infantry battalion at this location http://enpointe.perso.infonie.fr/di.html
shows 1 grenade launcher per section and one further one at platoon HQ. That's 4 VB's per platoon. So I'm going to assume an oversight.

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oozeboss
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Re: The VB Junior Leader In the Gembloux PSC

Post by oozeboss » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:18 am

Truscott Trotter wrote:
Tue May 21, 2019 1:52 am
Just cos he is the corporal of the VB don't always mean he HAS a VB!
When I was a corporal I didn't drink much of any brand of beer.

So maybe he is a Bundy OP man (like I used to be).

:twisted:
"We are all worms.
But I do believe that I am a glow-worm."

Winston Churchill

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