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Old May 1st, 2021, 11:45 PM

Kiwikkiwik Kiwikkiwik is offline
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Default Experience and morale

Here is what the game values are for Experience:Morale.

65:65 65:70 70:75 70:75 70:75 75:75 75:75 USMC
75:75 75:75 75:75 75:75 70:75 70:75 65:70 Jap

75:70 75:75 75:75 75:70 75:65 70:65 70:65 Fin

60:60 60:60 60:65 65:75 65:75 65:75 70:75 US
75:75 75:75 75:75 75:75 70:75 70:65 65:65 Ger
75:70 75:70 65:70 70:75 70:75 70:75 70:70 UK

50:55 50:55 55:55 60:60 65:65 65:65 70:70 Russ
60:60 60:60 60:60 60:60 60:55 60:60 60:65 Ital

and what I think would be an improvement


65:65 65:65 70:65 70:65 70:65 70:65 70:65 USMC
80:95 80:95 80:95 80:95 80:95 80:95 80:90 Jap

75:75 75:75 75:75 75:75 75:75 75:75 75:75 Fin

60:60 60:60 60:60 65:60 65:60 70:60 70:60 US
80:75 80:75 80:75 75:75 75:75 75:70 75:70 Ger
70:80 70:80 70:80 70:70 70:70 70:65 70:65 UK

50:55 50:55 55:55 60:60 65:65 65:65 65:65 Russ
70:60 70:60 70:60 70:60 70:55 70:60 70:60 Ital

It looks as though in game the Experience and Morale values have been linked to the overall strategic position of the various armies as the war progressed. When they are winning they get high values, when they are losing they get low values. In General this wasn't the case, For example US, UK and Russian Experience stayed relatively stable throughout the war, the reason these armies had their late war successes was not because of increased Morale and Experience. It was because by late war they had achieved a massive Material superiority over the Axis.

The number of shells that rained down on a german division in Normandy on an average day? 4000! plus another 5000 mortar bombs, complete control of the air.
For an attack on two German companies send in 3500 rounds in 2 hours.
These numbers are from 3:28 minutes into this video.
There are endless examples of Allied material superiority.
In Normandy the Germans did not have enough shells to even allocate counter battery fire. The only thing that kept the Germans from collapse under these circumstances was exactly better Experience and Morale.

Game help describes Experience as meaning troop quality. Personally I would change the label from Experience to Training. No matter how much experience poorly trained troops get they won't improve by much. However really well trained troops go to battle and always perform excellently, the "green" Germans troops in the Polish campaign for example. If game Experience actually meant experience then obviously the most "experienced" troops in every year of the war would be the Germans, their divisions were in action continuously, but the game values don't show that. So I am thinking Experience really means training. In particular the work of Officers cannot be picked up on the job through experience, they have to be trained. Experience is not a substitute for good Officer training. The Russian army is the best example of an army poorly trained throughout, the soldiers had plenty of 'experience' but the Officers poor training translated into enormous casualties in every year of the war. In game Officer poor leadership translates into low experience.

Various units experience values range from about 55 to 90, Morale from about 45 and 90. 70 is considered the base or average value for Experience and the average value for Morale.

I understand Morale as being the troops ability to absorb casualties and keep fighting. Which is why morale affects only rallying. In fact you could just call Morale Rallying ability.
The Japanese had the best Morale (Rallying) of any troops in WWII. When out of food, ammunition, and hope, all other armies, -elites included- surrendered. In this situation the Japanese continued fighting, and then, when out of ammunition they fixed bayonets and charged. Banzai is only possible if you have supreme Morale. The entire Japanese Army was actually an elite force Morale-wise. The regular Japanese should get the best Morale of any unit (including elites) in the game. As US SSF has a Morale of 90 then Japanese Morale should be 95. Because the Japanese had better Morale than the SSF.
All other armies Morale values, elites included, should always be less than what the regular japanese Infantry have.
The game help says that the Japanese were the "best trained force in the world". Their experience values don't show this, Their base experience starts at 75 drops to 70 in 1943 and down to 65 in 1945. The Japanese were never short of trained soldiers and rotating divisions through China before WWII meant that most of their infantry and Officers had not only been excellently trained but had been exposed to real combat, ie experienced. I would think the level of training never dropped and that they actually had more excellently trained, battle hardened, experienced troops throughout the war than any other nation. So Japanese experience I think should stay at 75 over all years, or even sit at 80.
I would give the Japanese 'elite' types like Guards units the same Morale of 95, but marginally better Experience values than regular Japanese Infantry.
Japanese SNLF experience is +7 this should probably be a -7 as they were actually sailors put into the infantry role, they were shore parties rather than marines. Courtesy of Leeland Ness's book Rikugun US intelligence says this about SNLF "exhibited a surprising lack of ability in infantry combat"
Apparently 7400 Japanese prisoners were collected on Okinawa so maybe morale might drop in 1945.

I don't think I've ever heard or read a disparaging comment made about Finnish performance or Morale, yet in 1943 their Morale becomes substandard (65) for the rest of the war. I can only imagine the game has equated a reluctance to fight deep into Russia with a drop in Morale. This was a political decision, apparently bowing to US pressure to stop their advance, not a morale issue. I would leave Finnish Experience at 75 throughout the war. All the men in Finland had been trained as soldiers for a couple of decades prior to WWII so they had to look really hard to find an inexperienced soldier to put into service.

Anderson in the History of the Panzerjager sums up the Russians this way
"In General, a soldier in the Red Army was poorly trained and lacked combat experience, although as an individual he was often described as being a fearless and courageous fighter led by ineffectual (inexperienced) Officers."
Zalogas Red Army Handbook has these comments about training in the Red army
"The turmoil in army policy in 1938-41 left the red army in a state of permanent crisis".
"The lack of well trained officers forced the Red army to employ cookbook tactics, following rigid and unimaginative templates under a tightly centralised command"
"lack of a strong NCO tradition a fatal shortcoming in a conscript army attempting to absorb new technology."

This stayed the same throughout the war, because the Soviet armed forces suffered continuous heavy casualties which were replaced post haste by raw recruits. This is what Stalin acknowledged when he said quantity has a quality all of it own.
Some sources say that Russian training actually got worse as the war progressed. I think there is an argument to leave experience at a very low level throughout the war. Putting it higher than German is clearly wrong. Russian training was barely adequate. Leadership documented as poor in nearly every source on the subject.
Poor leadership plays into Russian Morale. Though the troops may have been keen, the ineffectual leadership can't have inspired them much. So Russian Morale also needs to stay below German.
Game Russian Morale and Experience values reflect the Russians increasingly successful operations as the war progressed. These successes weren't due to better experience and morale. the Russians crushed the Germans with overwhelming material superiority, not better experience and morale.
Zalogas Red Army Handbook also describes Russian mountain troops as poor and run down, that is, no different to normal Russian infantry. So probably don't need the +5 Experience and Morale.
From the same source Russian ski troops were first formed at the 'last minute' after the Russians saw how good the Finns used ski troops, they were anyone who could ski and not necessarily infantry. Zaloga says this "The ski battalions did not perform well in the winter war, undoubtedly due in large part to their hasty formation and lack of unit training." When the snow melted they were disbanded and used as regular infantry. This pattern continued until September 42 when ski units actually got infantry training and then for the first time actually trained as units on skis. So they probably should get some minus instead of plus values up to sept 42 then normal infantry values would apply.
Russian victories late in the war usually came at the cost of many, many Russian casualties.
Poor leadership leads to poor morale So it makes sense for the two values to track roughly together for the Russians. The political Commissars made matters worse.

In the US army poor (ly trained) leadership led to low morale, even cynicism.
The USA had to build a huge army from scratch starting in 1940! and had to build the training units to train said army at the same time. Nobody had any experience. The US infantryman wasn't looked after by his administration, Green troops were sent directly into action in the front line without having met the rest of their squad or commanders previously, with no regimental system you had city boys mixed with farmers, confederates wixed with unionists, making it very hard to build esprit de corps.
From game help
"Unlike the US Army who in this period saw the rifleman as the lowest of the low (and assigned the lowest draft categories to rifle units, enlisted and officer)"
"So they (Marines) had a form of the rest of the world's 'regimental' system whereby you 'belonged' to some particular outfit, unlike the US Army where you were more of a commodity."
"They (Marines) were more likely to go for the close assault than the US Army infantry who preferred to shoot the enemy off the objective if they could. USMC infantry doctrine is very similar to British. Fire is used to facilitate manoeuvre, and the point of manoeuvre is to get your men up close and personal to the enemy. This tends to settle the argument quickly, rather than wasting time in a pointless firefight."
World War II armoured infantry by Gordon Rottman has a section on US armoured Infantry training.
"When first committed to combat virtually all replacements, Including NCOs and officers were standard infantry with no armoured infantry knowledge, and most had not even seen a halftrack."
"This training shortfall was amplified during the infantry replacement shortfall during the winter of 1944-5, when some replacements assigned to AIB (Armoured Infantry Battalions) were not even trained infantrymen"
and so on.
And yet game gives better Experience than the Germans, should be less.
There is actually a very good book on the subject Van Crevelds Fighting Power: German and U.S. Army Performance, 1939-1945.
If you can't read the book then this article is almost a summary
Having read the book I can't disagree with the points made in this article, Their Wehrmacht Was Better Than Our Army
But really the difference is common sense really, for the US why risk men's lives when you can shell the enemy into submission.
The only way the Germans could have held for 11 months after D-Day against the allies overwhelming odds was precisely by having better Experience and Morale, they had no other advantages.
So for America, using German values as a benchmark I would set US Experience low at 65. I would do this because it is well documented that training could not keep up with expansion in the US army. So both Skills and Leadership suffered. I would set Morale at 70 as they could and did take casualties. But by the end in Normandy 20-30 percent of casualties were battle fatigue, This was very bad for Morale so it might drop in 44 or 45.
Eisenhour recognised this problem in 44 and purged the Officer corps so Experience might increase in 45.

Generally considered better than the US infantry, never really tested in the war, as they usually had crushing firepower superiority and substantially outnumbered the Japanese.
To read about general performance this link is illustrative.
Unlike US army they were aware of the value of keeping men together, so better Morale than US infantry

Best way to asses Germany is to compare them to US that's been done for us already in these two books
Fighting Power German and US Army performance 1939-1945 Martin van creveld.
Numbers, Predictions @ war Colonel Dupuy.
Summary; On a tactical level the Germans performed better than the Russians, Americans and British throughout the war.
Dupuy gives the Germans an overall 20% performance advantage compared to the Western allies. This should translate into a better experience value for the German units.
Fighting Power German and US Army performance 1939-1945 undertakes a thorough, detailed examination of the subject. Rather than submit the detail, here is a more general quote, amply supported in the text
"If it is indeed true, as is so often said, that the officer corps counts for everything in war, then the American officer corps of World War II was less than mediocre. Owing partly no doubt to pressure of time, the methods used to select and train officers were none too successful. Far too many officers had soft jobs in the rear, far too few commanded at the front. Those who did command at the front were none too successful. Those who did command at the front were, as the official history frankly admits and the casualty figures confirm, often guilty of bad leadership. Between them and their German opposite numbers there is no comparison possible."

German recruits were integrated into their units when they were rotated out of the line and so had time to find their feet the were always from the same geographic region. The US 70th infantry division implemented a German style system for receiving replacements, it worked. This division was on of the few to be explicitly commended in the US armies official history of WWII.

German units were still able to put together an effective successful offensive operation right up to march 45, though they were outnumbered everywhere. You might be interested to see
The last German WWII attack - operation potsdam 1945 by Mark Felton

As the war progressed UK ran out of men and put in place policies to minimise casualties. Though this isn't poor morale it translates into low morale in game terms as they choose not to take a lot of casualties, same as the US they decided it was much better to call in the artillery.
The British Expeditionary Force, Sept 1939 to May 1940 started out as a nearly all volunteer force, conscription having come into force in September 1939. Volunteers want to fight, conscripts not so much, In the battle of France the British forces failure was technical not Morale. Those volunteers had very high Morale and plenty of training so British Morale and Experience in 1939 and 1940 should be 75 80. Montgomeries Attritional style of warfare burned through most of the volunteers by 1942-3 so a drop down to 70 Morale would be appropriate for 1943 and maybe down to 65 in 45 as Soldiers knew they were going to win so why die now. Britain had to expand to a large army and training organisation very quickly. This in combination with trying to master the same tactics the German had already thoroughly bedded down before the war began led to a lower Experience than German.
The tank war by Mark Urban contains a relevant excerpt from 1944.
"Many within the 5th RTR felt they had been failed by their infantry... Verney gave another example of being let down... with a planned night attack with one of the Queens Battalions: 'When the moment came for them to form up the CO found that the majority of the men had melted away'"
The book goes on to say that the British had a shortage of suitable replacements. And after being ground down by months of combat in Normandy the British became shy of taking casualties because replacements wern't forthcoming.

Volunteers have better morale than conscripts
Australia has two Armies CMF (games Militia) and (Second) AIF. Like BEF AIF were volunteers that wanted to fight. AIF remained composed of volunteers throughout the war. I would give Australian/New Zealand troops 75 for experience and 80 for Morale for the duration.
Firepower by Bidwell and Graham describes the Australian and New Zealand troops as superb. Other sources agree.
From Asiatic land battles by Dupuy, "but these aussies were the best soldiers in the world"
After the capitulation of Poland Polish troops in English service were effectively volunteers and should have a Morale value of 75 from 1940.
SS were volunteers also as well as being fanatical.

Handbook of Italian military forces US Military Intelligence service says Italian Morale no better than satisfactory, but Training OK. OK training suggests Experience should be set to 70 or at least 65.
The Italian failure was that they had a serious lack of equipment, and what they had was outdated and often poorly designed. Of course in the game Italian equipment is much more available than it really was. This quote agrees
"The Italian forces, as Rommel (and many others) said, were continually asked to perform tasks they were not equipped to do. The outcomes were inevitable, and in most cases do not reflect badly on the individual soldier".
Italians Leadership often ended up being chosen for being politically compliant. In combination with poor and missing equipment I think there Morale should be low, But training, ie experience is OK.

Just some general points
I don't think it makes sense for an elite units values to be a standard mark up on the same armies base/average infantry values. Take Paratroops in 1942 for example, Because Italy has low base values of 60:60 their paratroops get 70:70 whereas the higher base values of the British, 70:75 gives their paratroops values of 80:85. Probably Italian paratroops where every bit as good as Britians so should be same at 80:85. In fact all armies paratroops should probably have very similar values. I would argue the same holds for most other elite Formations.
Scouts Snipers aren't very consistent some don't seem to have any bonus experience morale values others do. I think for scouts in particular, 6 men being size 0 is enough to reflect their being the 'best' men in the platoon without adding an Experience or Morale boost. At size 0 6 men units are already I think a bit problematic.
Linking Counterbattery fire to overall base experience or morale also gives some odd results, Japan had little or no counterbattery ability during the war but has game excellent values because of their high base values. Italy had excellent counterbattery but counterbattery performs badly in the game because of their low base values.
Fighting in and for your homeland probably gives an automatic morale boost.
I noticed that panzergrenadiers in trucks get +1 but in APCs get +2. I think these were the same panzergrenadiers. I would also give all armies armoured and artillery units a slight experience and morale boost.

I think in general very large experience differences lead to some odd results, for example a -moving- high experience size 0 scout party in the clear can spot a stationary low experience scout party in trees without being seen first itself.
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