1939 Poles errata

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Arlequín
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Re: 1939 Poles errata

Post by Arlequín » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:54 pm

We did in 'Espana' and 'Abyssinia' too, and that was in comparison to the M1909 Hotchkiss LMG as the measuring standard. Rolf and I are both Italian Army fans too, but you have to be objective.

gebhk
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Re: 1939 Poles errata

Post by gebhk » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:56 pm

Interestingly, according to the 1939 manual, in defence, the Bren team, whether on bipod or tripod, has a 3-man crew (gunner, loader, ammo carrier). The duties of the team leader in the Polish squad are (almost verbatim) assigned to the overall section leader in the British 1939 model.

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Re: 1939 Poles errata

Post by Arlequín » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:52 pm

I would expect that. The British manuals describe the Bren as the principle weapon of the section, which as a whole has the primary function of maintaining its operation above all else. Every man was trained to operate it, although only the gunner and assistant got the full programme and specialist badge.

More training and range time for each man was alotted to the Bren Gun over the rifle and ammunition for it was spread across the entire section. Unlike the Lewis Gun before it, specific ammo carriers were not detailed to be part of the gun team.

andysyk
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Re: 1939 Poles errata

Post by andysyk » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:16 pm

1938 Section Leading says the BREN is operated by one man unless on a tripod when its 2. So when introduced it was very much considered a one man weapon.

No Gun Group, No Gun Commander so these must have been introduced with the adoption of Battle Drill. I have a book Infantry Tactics by Anthony Farrar Hockley that says Battle Drill was post Dunkirk lots of other evidence to support that as well.

So our 1940 Sections shouldn't have teams!

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Re: 1939 Poles errata

Post by Arlequín » Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:34 pm

'tis true... and no spare barrel is to be carried for movement, only in defence, as with the tripod.

I've previously come across mention of 'the drill' by veterans, whereby they fired single shots, unless they had a group target.

In the carrier platoons the Bren is also a one-man weapon and their role was fire support.

Battle Drill, iirc, came out of 47th Infantry Division - a training division, in 1941 and was demonstrated to other formations from that point.

andysyk
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Re: 1939 Poles errata

Post by andysyk » Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:25 pm

Yes GHQ School set up in 42 to train Section Leaders and Platoon Leaders who were supposed to take it back to units. Ive mentioned this on the Platoon Battle Drill thread as well.

Interestingly the Germans dropped the idea of a separate gun team after Poland from 1940, from then on it was an integral part of the Section, not to be separated, the manuals are quite specific and KSTN show the Gruppe as a whole not separate as earlier. There were 3 men allocated to the MG 34 but they were not a separate tactical element like a BREN team was, the section fought as a whole. The Deputy Squad Leader had a role to ensure the Squad operated cohesively and he nothing to do with the MG.

Currently looking at Panzer Grenadiers they used 2 man LMG members for each of the 2 LMGs but again the Section fought as a whole but there vis a mention that it could be was be separated in "special" circumstances. (unfortunately German period manuals often cross reference other manuals instead of providing all the info in one place, which is bloody annoying especially when you cant find the other manual.) However most manuals cross reference to the standard Infantry manuals and one at least states the Deputy Squad Leaders role, verbatim, as the standard Infantry squads. Diagrams match the Infantrys, there is just the extra LMG symbol. The 2 LMGs are together in the centre of the squad no splitting into leapfrogging elements of 2 LMG teams.

So after Poland German squads didn't have teams either the Gruppe was a single tactical entity for the rest of the war, with the MG/MGs as the focus point. Even in the Close assault the MG was at the centre of the squad fired from the hip.

gebhk
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Re: 1939 Poles errata

Post by gebhk » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:06 pm

So our 1940 Sections shouldn't have teams!
And yet the 1939 LMG manual clearly describes a 2-man team in the advance and a 3-man team in defence, and how they should be trained. The team-leader duties were undertaken by the section leader along with his other duties. But then the British section was less than half the size of the Polish one at this time.

What is also interesting is that the British cavalry section of this date was organised almost exactly the same as the Polish one ie a section leader who directed the operation of the gun, gunner and an ammo carrier whose job was mainly to tote ammo from the pack horse to the gun. There were 2 horse-holders and the only difference was a seventh man in the British section, rifle-armed, whose job was providing observation and security.

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Re: 1939 Poles errata

Post by Arlequín » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:30 pm

That's not quite correct, according to the W/E November 1939, only the 'Light Automatic Section' had a LMG. That was six men including a corporal, their mounts and a pack horse. The other three sections in the troop had NCO and seven men with rifles and sabres only. Troop HQ had an AT Rifle team of two troopers for the weapon and a third for the pack horse.

andysyk
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Re: 1939 Poles errata

Post by andysyk » Sun Nov 11, 2018 8:38 pm

Ok had a look. Slightly different than The Section Leader Manual. That's what I meant earlier about manuals being contradicting. Still yes two men are allocated to the LMG. However this is not a separate tactical element as it is later. They are two men allocated to the BREN but in action they do not operate apart from the rest of the Section.

In fact this supports the idea that the two team Section was not utilised in 1940.

If you can find one look at the 1942 LMG manual the Section description has the 3 man group with the addition of a L/Cpl gun commander as the gun group was now a tactical team. And although still part of its parent section, a separate Team.

Its all good fun :lol:

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Re: 1939 Poles errata

Post by Archdukek » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:30 pm

Fascinating stuff!
And pity the poor rules designer trying to convert all of this mix of varying and evolving practices into a coherent and comprehensive whole without drowning us in minute detail and special rules. Plenty of potential here for tinkering to our hearts content in our own games.
Meantime KISS and CoC Rules OK! 😄😄

John

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