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Old October 21st, 2022, 11:01 PM

Akmatov Akmatov is offline
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Default German Company Level Kampfgruppe?

The German Army is well known for its use of Kampfgruppen of mixed arms. And the US Army's Teams of the 1970s, at least, did the same thing. Team Yankee for example was a mix of tanks and infantry. But Team Yankee was a 'Kampfgruppen' company, and I've not noticed German Kampfgruppen below Battalion level. Did the German Army of the 1940s intentionally form armour/infantry companies? Figured someone here would know.
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Old October 22nd, 2022, 10:36 AM
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Default Re: German Company Level Kampfgruppe?

From what I gather from my reading, they liked to put together a batallion of each main type to make a 2 batallion battle group (tank + infantry) and then basically manouvre as double teams (a tank co + inf co working together, with the individual platoons then also "married up" in supporting pairs).

Not so much of the post-war NATO type of a tank bn swapping out a coy for a mech coy from a panzergrenadier bn and so on. They seemed to like to keep the batallions unsplit as whole items. Though of course they might lend a tank coy to a rifle bn, which would then split that to individual platoons in direct support of rifle coys but really that was the stugs and panzerjaeger's (ie artillery branch units, not panzers) task/mode of operations. The germans seemed to prefer thier armour coys (and bns as well) to be left concentrated as whole formations, not penny-packeted out except in cases of extreme need.

So thier battle groups seem to have been more what the French would have called a "demi-brigade" - ie made up of 2 bns of the brigade/regiment acting in concert + added brigade/regimental level assets if needed (engineers, recce, arty, AAA etc) as a "top-up".
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Old October 23rd, 2022, 08:51 AM

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Default Re: German Company Level Kampfgruppe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobhack View Post

So thier battle groups seem to have been more what the French would have called a "demi-brigade" - ie made up of 2 bns of the brigade/regiment acting in concert + added brigade/regimental level assets if needed (engineers, recce, arty, AAA etc) as a "top-up".
Thank you so much, I knew someone here would know!

I'm making a few small organizational changes in a company+ unit for the Long Campaign, which I've never managed to grind through. Divorce and Retirement has opened up a chunk of time, so I'm going to see if I can pull it off.

Since I feel overwhelmed with the map covered in unit counters, I'm going with a slightly modified cold war soviet Advance Party OB, ie reinforced Motorized Rifle Company + Tank Platoon + odds and ends starting out with 1939 era German gear. As far as I know, not authentic, but realistic. This will give me something similar to the NATO era Team Yankee OB, which I'm also going to try out over in winSPMBT. Both OBs give me the smaller troop set I want and a wide span of capabilities.

I actually have adequate references for the 1970-80s Soviets, but there just don't seem any good sources, that I've found, that really cover tactics for German, or really anyone, down around the company level. Kennedy's On Infantry, 1st Ed is about the only thing. If I recall correctly, On Armour is back into abstractions and no lower-level information.
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Old October 23rd, 2022, 10:20 AM
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Default Re: German Company Level Kampfgruppe?

A German "Kampfgruppe" was whatever they had at the time thrown together to ( try to ) accomplish the "Mission du jour"

This is pretty much what anyone buying this and that in the purchase phase creates for a given amount of points therefore you can never be wrong putting together a fictional "Kampfgruppe"
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Old October 23rd, 2022, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: German Company Level Kampfgruppe?

Yes, because if you search the historical records you will eventually find some cobbled-together force that suits your purchased collection of odds and ends!

Heck, the Brits in the desert agaist the Italians threw all sorts together to form "Jock columns" but this apparently wasnt very effective against the Germans when they arrived on scene, and so were never termed "combined arms battle groups" or suchlike by the post-war pundits for some reason. Even though they usually had recce, cruiser tanks and lorried infantry with some towed ATG and a battery of towed arty in the mix. But when the Germans threw some bits and bobs together, suddely its a wunderbar kamfgruppe!

The main takeaway really is that combined arms warfare takes some joint training and words written in the tactical manuals of the day so everyone is on the same page, which the Germans definately were on, the Brits not so much as Jock columns were rather "come as you are" parties, until much later in the war. But the Jock colums did do OK against the Italians who hadn't really thought about combined arms much at all one supposes.

It would really take a set of rules like one used to get with the cardboard-shuffling old grognard games where slapping a British tank platoon under command of a random infantry captian as part of a "company team" got it significantly less "command points" than it would have had under its own regiment. But most end users avoid command and control rules, e.g. they had some in SP3, they were optional, and from what I gathered in the newsgroups of the day - 99% of players switched it off as it was "difficult" and "got in the way".

But rules that focus on the command aspect, so say a French 1940 player has pretty much to make a detailed plan at the start and stick to it (which takes pre-game planning, no jump right in and get straight to the pew-pew) whereas his German opponent (who pays more points for his unit leaders!) can switch his line of attack, move reserves to a threatened flank more easily etc, and only have a basic outline idea of a plan as such are really the only way one can actually reflect the WW2 reality.

And it was the C&C aspect that the Germans had in spades over the "grand battle plan" type of armies that gave them the winning edge. It was certinly not uber-panzers, as they were in 1940/1 fighting against heavies (for the day) with itty-bitty little light tanks, and winning more by avoiding the enemy armour if possible and biffing up the rear line supply and fuel columns, catching somuas at petrol stations and so on. Which isn't really of much consequence in the tactical level SP type game where you arent worrying about where your fuel, bullets and beans will be coming from this evening when you laager up, but is more for the operational level game where a battle plays over several days and cardboard counters are one per company at least, more usually a batallion. But those games are for the 1% grognards, not the 99% casual gamer who just wants to shove units around and play "top tank trumps pew-pew".
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