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Old November 20th, 2018, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Halftracks

Originally Posted by Kiwikkiwik View Post
Hey Imp, guess who spotted the cheat that got fixed in the last patch? Maybe you think that qualifies as moving the game forward?
Well done
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Old December 26th, 2018, 03:36 AM

Kiwikkiwik Kiwikkiwik is offline
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Default Re: Halftracks

I had a look at resolving the mounted instead of carried 60mm mortar halftrack and pandora's box opened up.
Main result being that there is a very strong case to be made for US armoured Infantry platoons not seeing service before Tunisia.

The very first armoured infantry is mounted in the wheeled scout car M3A1 instead of halftracks. Because the scout cars cannot carry a full size wartime squad these were only ever used by armoured infantry in tank divisions for training and then only up to nov 40 when half tracks were issued. In action M3 scout cars were in fact used as scouts until replaced by armoured cars.

The game has several US armoured infantry formations using the M3 scout car. They are formations 381 388 392 with nation USA and formations 378 384 386 391 392 with nation unknown. All these formations have service dates of 7/40 until 2/41 However in Nov 40 a new TOE was issued, TOE 7-27 its detailed in these 3 sites.




In this November 40 TOE the Armoured Infantry is mounted in half tracks instead of scout cars. So the Armoured infantry Scout car formations 381-392 should have an end date of 11/40 instead of 2/41

M3 scout cars are units 133 and 378 these vehicles carry 8 men (maximum) including driver. You have them able to carrying 8 men and crews of 2 and 4 respectively. Though these vehicles may have carried infantry, these were not employed as infantry carriers in armoured infantry formations, except for a very short time in the US for training. So as scouts they can simply have a crew of 8 and a carry capacity of 0. Or as they have 2 MGs, a crew of 3, driver and two gunners and carry capacity of 5. Or 3 MGs, 4 crew and 4 carried.

From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M3_Scout_Car

The M3 and M3A1 first saw combat with the Philippine Army and Philippine Constabulary in the Philippines in 1941 to 1960s[citation needed], and was also used by the cavalry units of the US Army in the North African Campaign and the invasion of Sicily. It was used in traditional cavalry roles, such as scouting and screening; also as an armored command vehicle

So M3 scout seems not to be used by US Armd Inf in the philippines. Armd infantry had already transitioned from M3 scout car to M3 halftracks. M3 scout should probably have a start date of 12/41.

These 3 units are used in these Scout car formations.
Unit 388-Armd MG Team-7/40 to 2/41. Should have end date of 11/40? Should have 5 not 6 men and cant find any evidence tripods were ever carried in M3 scouts to mount the .30 cals. ie M3 is a scout not an infantry carrier.
Unit 389-Armd Rifle Team-7/40 to 2/41. Should have end date of 11/40? Should have 5 not 6 men unless a MG is removed from carrying scout car.
Unit 393-Dmntd Armd Inf-7/40 to 2/42. Should have end date of 11/40? This peacetime training formation was an 8 man squad including driver with springfield rifles and 1 BAR or all M1 garands no BAR. This formation has 11 men, 3 too many, also it has 2 BARs it should only have 1. Alternately it can have all M1 garands.

Gordon Rottmans book World War II US Armoured Infantry Tactics comments that the 1940 armoured division

never saw combat.

Ok so lets look at the US armoured infantry platoon and its halftracks.

In steven Zalogas book US half tracks of WW2 he says,

Their (M3 halftrack) combat debut came months later in the philippines with the provisional Tank Group, which had 46 halftracks. These were used mainly in command and general utility roles.

Mesos agrees with this date in his book M3 halftrack in action saying

The first use of the M2/M3 series in combat was in the Philippines Islands ... in December of 1941

So Starting date for formation 379-Armd Inf Pl 41-3/41to2/42 should be 12/41 not 3/41. The Philippines campaign ends in 5/42, you end the formation on 2/42 I cannot find any use of M3 halftracks elsewhere until the Invasion of Tunisia November 1942. Start date 3/41 seems to be derived from this reference

Evolution of the Armored Infantry Rifle Squad
http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/461846.pdf where it says

After march 1941 squad becomes 11 men initially they are an 8 man squad as many were mounted in the 4 wheel M3 scout car.

However the change to Halftracks had already begun with the November 40 TOE, see ref below.

So the game is using the Formation creation date rather than its service (battle) date for formation 379-Inf Pl 41-3/41to2/42. Whether this formation actually existed in the Philippines is debatable anyway. For the Phillipines you may just want to use Formation 27 Halftrack section, the player can load it with normal infantry. Formation 379 can then be removed.

Evolution of the Armored Infantry Rifle Squad also notes that the 1941 Armd rifle squads had either all garands or all springfields and a BAR, you have only the later squad type available for the formation 379.

Formation 379-Inf Pl 41 also contains 4 different types of halftracks to carry the squads in. The formations 11 man Armd Rifle sqd unit 390 doesn't fit in 3 of them. I cannot find any evidence that any of these three halftracks, units 382-T1, 383-T1E2 or 384-t5 were ever used in combat and they were only produced in very limited numbers anyway.

Besides all that, formation 379-Armd Inf Pl 41-3/41to2/42 conforms to the Mar 42 TOE when in fact it should conform to the Nov40 TOE. However as the Armd inf squads were not used until the invasion of Tunisia in November 42 379-Armd Inf Pl 41 can just be deleted. Alternately 379-Armd Inf Pl 41 can be rebuilt to the correct TOE, Nov40, it easily fits into the platoons 10 formation slots as the AT gun and Mortar are in separate platoons, not in the rifle platoon.

The Nov 40 armd inf formations TOE is available here.


That leaves two oher formations, frmn 358-Armd Inf Pl 42-3/42-9/43 and frmn 357-Armd Inf Pl 43-7/43to12/46. They have 65-67 and 62-64 men. According to Gordon Rottmans book World War II US armoured Infantry Tactics and others they should have 49 and 49 men respectively, including drivers. If the correct amount of men are allocated to these platoons it solves the 60mm HT problem and some other issues.

The next (probably first) use of Armoured Infantry platoons was in the landings in Tunisia, November 42

Formation 358-Armd Inf Pl 42 has dates 3-42 to 9-43 the start date should probably be 11-42. March 42 is the date the new TOE including the 37mm AT gun was promulgated the first time these formations actually saw action was in the landing in Tunisia 11/1942.

Formation 358-Inf Pl 42 contains the 37mm AT gun, towed by the Platoon HQ halftrack. The platoon has about 16 extra men.
Gordons Rottmans book World War II US armoured Infantry Tactics says this

it (37mm AT gun) had only 2 dedicated crewmen, but riflemen would serve as the ammunition handlers.

The 37mm gun towing platoon HQ halftrack crew breakdown courtesy of Mr Rottman is Platoon commander, Platoon sergeant, Squad leader, Anti Tank gunner, Assistant Anti Tank gunner, 5 riflemen, Basic soldier and Driver. 12 men. The driver is part of the 12 man squad. So first saving in men, currently each half track has a 3 man crew and an 12 man dismountable squad, 3 too many. So if the Halftrack can move and fire its gun then the Rifle squad has to be 10 men. Platoon commander must command with the assistance of his sergeant so lose two more. So 8 men left to man the AT gun and provide the 11 man Armoured infantry rifle squad the halftrack carries. The 37mm AT gun needs a crew of about 5, so the 11 man squad is actually a 3 or at best if the platoon commander and sergeant are included a 5 man squad. So can't really have a 12 man squad and an AT gun in use at the same time, not enough men. I would suggest the HQ halftrack no longer carries an Armd rifle squad and just carries the AT gun. So removing the platoon HQ halftracks dismountable squad makes a slot available where the 60mm mortar can be put in and now it can be carried rather than mounted in the HT as is correct.

For Armd Inf Pl 42 the Mortar squad is 7 men incl driver and Basic Soldier and the MMG squad is 8 men including driver and Basic Soldier.

In Formation 358-Inf Pl 42 All halftrack units 32 (.50 cal) should be substituted with units 404 (.30 cal). Except for the MMG halftrack, the only halftrack in this formation that had a .50 cal. See Gordon Rottmans table 10 in WW2 US Armoured Infantry Tactics.

From the same reference, it can be seen that in formations 358-Inf Pl 42 and 357-Inf Pl 43 the MMGs are double counted, there are 3 MGs in the MG halftrack and 3 in the MMG section, these are the same MMGs, should be 3 in total. This is also easily fixed, the 50 cal does not have a tripod so formations 357 and 358 should have unit 33 M3-MG halftrack removed and replaced by unit 32 M3-Halftrack and it should carry something like unit 225, but this unit has 2 men too many, or unit 463 with the correct 6 men. This gives you one fixed 50 cal on the MMG halftrack and it carries the two dismountable .30cals, same setup as Panzergrenadiers. It would be impossible for a M3-MG halftrack to train all 3 guns on a target at the same time anyway, same reason the German HT has only 1 MG when two could be mounted.

Same reference also says this

In practice most halftracks carried only one Machine gun.

So all the halftracks should have a crew of 2 and all the Armd Rifle squads should be 10 men. At the moment halftrack unit 32 has 3 crew and halftrack unit 33 has 4 but unit 33 needs to be replaced with unit 32 anyway. Unit 404 has the "correct" crew of 2 for a 10 man Armd Rifle squad

You can see formation 357-Armd Inf Pl 43-7/43to12/46, organisation here,


Each of the 3 rifle squads is 12 men, 8 in the mortar squad and 12 in the MMG squad. ALL inclusive of the driver and Basic Soldier

Gordon Rottmans WW2 US Armoured Infantry Tactics. says this

Bazookas were not provided dedicated crews (teams)

So in formation 357-Armd Inf Pl 43 the 2 man bazooka team unit 62 can be removed this then gives the ability to add the dismountable 60mm mortar and replace the mortar halftrack, unit 67 with regular halftrack, as is correct. The five bazookas that the platoon carries can be allocated one to each rifle squad, already there, and one to the MMG team and one to the Mortar team, so all 5 bazookas are there.

Same book also says this

The battalions 75 halftracks mounted a .50 cal or a .30 cal Machine Gun sometimes both.

Normal allocation of MGs to the 5 halftrack in Armd Inf Pl 43 is that the Mortar and squad halftracks have a single 30 cal, While the HQ squad and MMG halftrack have 50 cals. You have 4 HT mounted 50 cals. If some halftracks have 2 guns then the carried squad then needs to come down to 9 men, halftrack with 3 MGs then can carry only an 8 man squad.

Some of Gordons book appears here


There are some difficulties with the Armoured Rifle Squads carried in the halftracks or early on, scout cars.

Unit 393-Armd Rifle Sqd-7/40 to 2/42 should probably run from 12/41 to 5/42 should have one BAR not 2. Only one BAR issued per squad.
Unit 390-Armd Rifle Sqd-3/41 to 2/42 should probably run from 12/41 to 5/42
Unit 56-Armd Rifle Sqd-3/42 to 3/43 should probably run from 11/42 to 9/43 should be 10 men not 11
Unit 394-Dmntd Armd Inf-3/42 to 9/43 remove BAR (BAR not issued to armd inf at this time)
Unit 57-Armd Rifle Sqd-4/43 to 7/44 should probably run from 9/43 to 7/45 because Bazooka issue date of April to Armd Inf seems to originate from Evolution of the Armored Infantry Rifle Squad
but when I checked the reference in this document for this date I couldn't confirm April. September is when the official TOE allocates bazooka to armoured infantry, They did after all have tanks in attendance. Should be 10 men not 11
Unit 395-Dmntd Armd Inf-10/43 to 9/44 uses weapon 145 30 cal M1919A6 this was not issued to Armoured Inf Squads until Nov44 see Gordons book
On the issue of M1919A6 Gordon says

However few if any units received these weapons.

Unit 391-Armd Rifle Sqd-8/44 to 6/45 according to The Evolution of the armoured infantry squad in August/44 a second grenade launcher is issued. Gets Bazooka one month early.
Unit 396-Dmntd Armd Inf-10/44 to 6/45 uses weapon 145 30 cal M1919A6, received one month early.
Second grenade launcher is apparently removed in 45 and the Bar is finally issued to Armd Inf Squads in June 45.
According to the Sept 43 TOE a M1903A4 sniper rifle is authorised for the HQ squad. This could be added into the HQ squad. Replaced by a M1C sniper rifle in August/44 though gordon goes on to say

In most cases there was no sniper rifle.

Gordan Rottman also says this,

Springfields with an M1 rifle grenade launcher were used until the M7 launcher for the M1 became available late in 1943. Two M7s were issued per squad;

This suggests to me that at least one grenade launcher was available to all Armd Inf rifle squads but maybe not listed in the TOEs.

This information may have some bearing on how the platoon may be reconstructed.

Gordon again, he explains

The armour protection from small arms fire and shell fragments at close range and striking at a near zero degree angle German 7.9 ball ammunition could penetrate and 7.9mm SmK AP (commonly issued) penetrated easily. ...dubbed "Purple Heart Boxes".

In Steven Zaloga book he puts it this way,

The armour gave reasonably good protection against 7.62mm AP ammunition at ranges over 200m
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