US Cavalry Recon Platoon

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EvilGinger
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Re: US Cavalry Recon Platoon

Post by EvilGinger »

Very interesting indeed a rather fragile if high value force by the look of it.

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hedgehobbit
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Re: US Cavalry Recon Platoon

Post by hedgehobbit »

Richard wrote:Okay. Crunched the numbers. What you essentially have there is a tiny force of three scout squads, each with a leader, a two man LMG team and a three man mortar team. I would make the Sergeant in Scout Squad One a Senior Leader.
There's one thing I failed to mention. In the field manuals, it says that the platoon should be divided up into three teams each with one armored car and two jeeps (one LMG and one mortar). Moving the senior leader to the infantry squads will mean the first team has two senior leaders whereas the other two have none. So even though the ACs are a platoon, they didn't operate that way. That is, if they troops actually did what the field manuals told them to.

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Spicker
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Re: US Cavalry Recon Platoon

Post by Spicker »

That is always the uncertainty regarding historical research and wargaming: we can only rely on the sources we have available. So, unless there are first-hand accounts that state that the platoon did otherwise in the field, we have to assume that they acted according to the field manual.
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Richard
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Re: US Cavalry Recon Platoon

Post by Richard »

Spicker. You are right.

Hedgehobbit. You've reminded me, I have a manual for these troops somewhere, I can vividly recall the illustrations of how the teams worked together. A nice cartoon style illustration with lots of rolling countryside.

I think you'll have to run it out and see how it plays, but in broad terms I think co-ordination between the jeeps and the M8 would be hard as the radio comms would not work. It would be down to the jeeps to keep themselves safe by sticking close to the M8 which would act as a mother hen.

It would be a nice force to game with at the spearhead of the advance. What I cannot recall is whether the US recon troops were there to act as eyes and ears - i.e. find the enemy and then report back - of whether they were more German as were eyes, ears and a bloody great fist - i.e. to find the enemy and smack them right in the mouth. That would present different options for scenarios.

I am just getting ready for tonight's campaign game, but I must look that manual out, tomorrow hopefully.

Rich

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Tom Ballou
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Re: US Cavalry Recon Platoon

Post by Tom Ballou »

Rich how do you count the M8 Crew (also as previously asked do these M8s have .50 cals), since they can dismount, and fight (scout) on foot.

Secondly, I believe the 60 mortar was equipped with smoke rounds, to help cover the scouts as they retired.

Here is a US Armored Cavalry doctrine paper I found on line:
http://tinyurl.com/qesybpr

This is the actual 1944 Field Manual FM 2-20: http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref ... FM2-20.pdf
Last edited by Tom Ballou on Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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hedgehobbit
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Re: US Cavalry Recon Platoon

Post by hedgehobbit »

Richard wrote:I think you'll have to run it out and see how it plays, but in broad terms I think co-ordination between the jeeps and the M8 would be hard as the radio comms would not work.
Each LMG jeep was equipped with a SCR-510 radio to communicate with the M8 ACs. I assumed 11.4 would apply.
Tom Ballou wrote:Rich how do you count the M8 Crew (also as previously asked do these M8s have .50 cals), since they can dismount, and fight (scout) on foot.
I treat them as a 3-man rifle team.
Tom Ballou wrote:Secondly, I believe the 60 mortar was equipped with smoke rounds, to help cover the scouts as they retired.
In Fred Salter's Recon Scout, he mentions firing white phosphorous in support of an attack on Djebel Ichkeul on May 3rd, 1943.
Tom Ballou wrote:Here is a US Armored Cavalry doctrine paper I found on line:
http://tinyurl.com/qesybpr
Thanks. I'll have to read that.

Mikey
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Re: US Cavalry Recon Platoon

Post by Mikey »

FM 2-20 says the following:
28. OPERATION OF PLATOONS. a. The platoon is the
basic reconnaissance unit. It is organized to operate under
troop control within a designated zone or area, or along a
prescribed route or axis. The frontage for a platoon reconnoitering
a zone should not exceed 4 miles. The number of
reconnaissance teams formed and their composition depend
upon the frontage assigned, routes available to the enemy,
terrain, and the rate of advance required. Three reconnaissance
teams are considered the maximum number which can be
formed within a platoon. Teams are composed of armored
cars and 1/4-ton trucks where conditions are favorable. Conditions
may necessitate the formation of teams composed of one
type of vehicle only or the platoon may operate without
vehicles. The platoon leader should retain a support initially.

So any mix of vehicles with a max of three sections in the platoon is recommended. The platoon sergeant normally was in the rear section.

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Re: US Cavalry Recon Platoon

Post by Mikey »

I would drop all the special rules, they do not add much to me. I would also provide a fully dismounted platoon option. 29 men organized as plt leader, plt sergeant, 3 junior leaders, and three 8 men squads. Equipped with SMGs and carbines and options to swap out riflemen for a single bazooka team, single .50 cal team, and up to six 60mm mortars and .30 cal teams. In this case no vehicles, just buy them as support.

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AWu
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Re: US Cavalry Recon Platoon

Post by AWu »

As to German recon.

Willi Kublik gunner of Armored Car 222 and later 232 is and author of very interesting memoir (written daily.).
While it mainly deals with what food they eaten and what was broken in his ACar (I did not realized that soldier in Aufklarung battalion of 4 th panzerdivision did that small amount of actual combat he did - and he got Iron cross, panzer badge and wound basge) Kublik writes that their role was to scout and retreat and that they did not have permission to fire for the most part.
SO thats wary much from description of German recon Richard gave..

Of course Kublik was heavily wounded while fighting as infantry in last fights near Vladikavkaz at 26 December 1942 so his combat experience varied very much, but for the most part in action he rides in ACar.

But role of recon might change dramatically between 1942 and 1944, and from eastern to western front !
(Bear in mind I haven't read any manuals, just actual memoirs written each day at front)

I was searching amazon but cant find Kublik book there (maybe it wasn't translated into English (if it is the case its sad because its very interesting if not too combat oriented book)
Polish translation looks like this if anyone can read it :)
http://s.lubimyczytac.pl/upload/books/1 ... 52x500.jpg
IMHO its worth it just for photos he did (including thiose of destroyed soviet armored trains )

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Tom Ballou
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Re: US Cavalry Recon Platoon

Post by Tom Ballou »

Mikey wrote:I would drop all the special rules, they do not add much to me. I would also provide a fully dismounted platoon option. 29 men organized as plt leader, plt sergeant, 3 junior leaders, and three 8 men squads. Equipped with SMGs and carbines and options to swap out riflemen for a single bazooka team, single .50 cal team, and up to six 60mm mortars and .30 cal teams. In this case no vehicles, just buy them as support.
I concur in general, with the caveat that up to 8 Jeeps (2 jeeps for the HQ (command and Bazooka team, and a jeep for the .50 cal team). and 3 M8s can be bought automatically as part of base force, adjusting the base points as required. Then support is added as normal.

I think the base force could only have 3 .30s and 3 60mm mortars, as there are 3 squads with 1 of each.

Armored Cav a really odd ball OB, being able to make all these mix and match teams. So if they have to maneuver they can leave some of the .30s behind on the jeeps (bringing them forward if they wish) and just use the infantry aspect of the team, or they can play a very tough defensive force with all those MGs holding off an attacker.
Last edited by Tom Ballou on Tue Oct 15, 2013 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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