le.ig 18 use against vehicles

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eatU4myT
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le.ig 18 use against vehicles

Post by eatU4myT »

In Blitzkrieg games, when I've not taken a dedicated anti-tank and been caught out by enemy armour making an appearance, I've taken the occasional pot shot at them with my trusty le.ig 18. It's pretty effective in game terms, but I've wondered, is it true to the period? It feels plausible, certainly as plausible as turning an LMG on a tank to try to intimidate it off he table. Can anyone point me to any source discussing whether this was a valid tactic used at the time?

Thanks

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Truscott Trotter
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Re: le.ig 18 use against vehicles

Post by Truscott Trotter »

Good question.

I have not read of any specific instances I do not think the hollow charge round was available then either.

Having said that a 75mm HE shell would be reasonably effective.vs 1940 armour and flak 88's were used in an emergency so it is possible.

eatU4myT
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Re: le.ig 18 use against vehicles

Post by eatU4myT »

Yeah, it only really comes up in 1940 because after that you need something dedicated to have much hope of penetrating.
I can't believe it never happened, but I'd feel better doing it in games if I thought it was something that the gun crew might have expected to be asked to do.

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7dot62mm
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Re: le.ig 18 use against vehicles

Post by 7dot62mm »

eatU4myT wrote:
Sat Mar 07, 2020 8:59 pm
Yeah, it only really comes up in 1940 because after that you need something dedicated to have much hope of penetrating.
I can't believe it never happened, but I'd feel better doing it in games if I thought it was something that the gun crew might have expected to be asked to do.
Infantry guns such as the German gun and the Soviet 76mm model 1927 were from the start intended to have a dual use, i.e. vs. both armor and infantry. It must be remembered that almost no dedicated AT guns even existed when they were originally created. The le.ig 18 is very similar to the short 75mm gun used in Stug III and Panzer IV and uses the same ammunition. It's just that as armor improved the dedicated AT guns offered much better performance. You should have no qualms about shooting at tanks with any infantry gun, it's what they were created for.

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7dot62mm
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Re: le.ig 18 use against vehicles

Post by 7dot62mm »

From the Russian Wikipedia via Google translate:

76-mm regimental gun arr. 1927 was intended for the following tasks [5] :
1. for direct support and maintenance of infantry fire and wheels;
2. to combat armored vehicles and tanks;
3. for the suppression and destruction of enemy infantry fire weapons, located openly and behind light field shelters;
4. to suppress and prohibit all types of fire from a bunker with a direct fire on embrasures;
5. for making passages in wire obstacles and passages in the banks for their tanks.

gebhk
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Re: le.ig 18 use against vehicles

Post by gebhk »

Interesting question eatU4myT. No one questions the use of the 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 in the A/T role. A/T ammo clearly existed for those guns and something similar could have, theoretically, been made available for the LeIG. Fact is, it would appear that it wasn't until the advent of hollow-charge shells and even then, received wisdom is that the gun's high trajectory and slow impact speed made it unsuitable as an A/T weapon.

This is where the fun starts because even though a hollow charge shell for anti-tank use was designed as early as 1938 (7.5cm Gr 38 Hl) debate rages as to when it (and its successors Hl A-C) was placed in the hands of the troops. Estimates range from June 1939 (or earlier) to June 1940 with probably the balance of opinion relying solely on hard evidence being June 1940 (with the first manual describing its use printed in July). On balance therefore, it might have been used sporadically in the French campaign, but not before. We are, of course, talking here about the tank gun.

Now it would appear that the improved version, Gr 38 Hl/A was introduced for AFVs and LeIGs more or less simultaneously in 1941. If the same was true for the earlier round (and that's a big 'if') then this too may have been available, sporadically, to IG crews in June 1940. According to Hogg the earlier IG version 7.5cm I Gr 38 Hl gave a penetration of 45mm at 30 degrees impact.

Be that as it may, there are the wider probability issues. Firstly, while a direct hit or even close miss even with a 75mm HE round would spoil the day of most 1939-40 AFV crews and of light vehicles to the end of the war, achieving that hit is inevitably more difficult with a howitzer than a cannon. Secondly, the likelihood of LeIGs meeting enemy tanks is in real life quite small, because of their role - stalking bunkers and machine gun nests or supporting infantry attacks from the proximal rear. This would be particularly true of infantry divisions whose A/T guns were motorised to be able to respond to enemy armoured thrusts while the LeIGs were not; ie they were too slow to catch many tank attacks.

I appreciate this is of little real use to wargamers, whose opponents' every infantry platoon seems to be supported, wholly ahistorically, by a tank or two........

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Baldie
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Re: le.ig 18 use against vehicles

Post by Baldie »

So far every game vs the BEF I have found myself up against a Matilda and a Vickers
Just bought a Panzer Jager on the off chance I ever get enough support points.

A Russian T35 has also just arrived but I expect it will be more scenario based action.
Interests

Getting slaughtered by a surprising amount of opponents.

eatU4myT
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Re: le.ig 18 use against vehicles

Post by eatU4myT »

Thanks all for the input. I shall proceed happily in the knowledge that the gun team are not going to give the infantry's senior leader a blank, incredulous stare next time he suggests it...!

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DougM
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Re: le.ig 18 use against vehicles

Post by DougM »

I suspect if you are seeing tanks in every game, it's because there are few counters, and wargamers love to play with their toys. In many cases there will be better support options. I confess, I do love my Panhard armoured car. Mainly because Blitzkrieg era Germans have no integral AT capability.
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Levi the Ox
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Re: le.ig 18 use against vehicles

Post by Levi the Ox »

I enjoy the early war period because neither the AFVs nor the AT weapons are particularly powerful, and so more weapons can pull double-duty. Even the humble anti-tank rifle is enough to keep armour honest. Late war can become very all-or-nothing.

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