Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
HEY GUNS
Oct 11, 2012

FOPTIMUS PRIME


Broke: I am a historical social anthropologist of early modern central Europe; focusing on subcultures and violent conflict
Woke: Guns go boom

This is where we put the milhist posts.

mod edit:

Siivola's discord is here: https://discord.gg/sT375kR

link to the old thread is here.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

CommonShore
Jun 6, 2014

A true renaissance man




This thread will represent a revolution in milhist posting discourse

Koramei
Nov 11, 2011

I just pretend to be nice.


Lipstick Apathy

Previous threads:

https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3297799
https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3585027
https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3785167
https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3872282
https://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3896814

Acebuckeye13
Nov 2, 2010

There's only one prescription for Nazism and it's 76mm HVAP





Ultra Carp

Come to the Milhist Thread! We have:

-Tank Destroyers
-Artillery Bears
-People who desperately want to stop posting about tank destroyers and artillery bears

Elendil004
Mar 22, 2003

The prognosis
is not good.




This time I'll keep up with the thread and follow it, says this fool.

Kangxi
Nov 12, 2016

The hat is mandatory.


New thread! Another one for me to fall behind on.

Does anyone have any book recommendations on the Maratha Empire, with a possible discussion of their navy?

Cyrano4747
Sep 25, 2006



CommonShore posted:

This thread will represent a revolution in milhist posting discourse

Figure 1: Ye Olde Milhist Discourse

Jobbo_Fett
Mar 7, 2014

It would be a sad error in judgement to mistake me for a corpse.


Clapping Larry

Cyrano4747 posted:

Figure 1: Ye Olde Milhist Discourse



Very sus

CommonShore
Jun 6, 2014

A true renaissance man




Cyrano4747 posted:

Figure 1: Ye Olde Milhist Discourse



CommonShore fucked around with this message at 19:50 on Dec 6, 2020

dublish
Oct 31, 2011



Acebuckeye13 posted:

-People who desperately want to stop posting about tank destroyers and artillery bears

Who? Show yourselves, cowards!

Alchenar
Apr 9, 2008



To be fair that's a running joke from the one time that guy tried to claim they were a success, despite the vehicles all being provisional designs of necessity and cost, and the US abandoning tank destroyer doctrine immediately after the war.

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


Musket party time.

oXDemosthenesXo
May 9, 2005


Grimey Drawer

Are we still posting links to old effort posts? My one and only real contribution to this thread was my grandfather's WWII Combat Dope Sheets a couple of years ago. I can dig up the rest of the posts pretty easily.

Acebuckeye13
Nov 2, 2010

There's only one prescription for Nazism and it's 76mm HVAP





Ultra Carp

Alchenar posted:

To be fair that's a running joke from the one time that guy tried to claim they were a success, despite the vehicles all being provisional designs of necessity and cost, and the US abandoning tank destroyer doctrine immediately after the war.

In fairness US self-propelled* TDs actually did fairly well and the M18 stands out in particular in punching well above its weight, but that success mainly came from training and low-level unit tactics rather than the actual doctrine.

*e: edit to emphasize the self-propelled TDs, as the towed guns were hot garbage that mainly served to get their crews killed

Mr Enderby
Mar 28, 2015



I would like some Military Revolution chat. What would happen if a European 15th century army faced an 18th century one? Was it a matter of an increase of overall state capacity, or was there a fundamental improvement in tactics?

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



If we're posting effortposts/blogs, I have a few

But let me start with a request: does anybody have a link to that history of the Taiping civil war?

Nebakenezzer
Sep 13, 2005

The Mote in God's Eye



Also on the subject of flying and food, I've been told that USN blimps during WW2 had waffle irons onboard

Chamale
Jul 11, 2010

I'm helping!





Who wrote the effortpost about Nazi uniforms and why they sucked? One of my favourite things I've seen from this thread, it deserves to be on page one.

Edgar Allen Ho
Apr 3, 2017


Quoth James Cameron,

"Nevermore"



How did the allies win world war 2 on the ground when faced with such superior german vehicles and discipline

Ensign Expendable
Nov 11, 2008

Lager beer is proof that god loves us


Pillbug

Acebuckeye13 posted:

In fairness US self-propelled* TDs actually did fairly well and the M18 stands out in particular in punching well above its weight, but that success mainly came from training and low-level unit tactics rather than the actual doctrine.

*e: edit to emphasize the self-propelled TDs, as the towed guns were hot garbage that mainly served to get their crews killed

Towed anti-tank guns used by all nations quickly hit the point where a gun that could knock out any enemy tank was simply too heavy to push around the battlefield by hand. The solution to this was either to keep lighter guns that were still okay against most tanks (ZIS-3, 6-pounder) or go hog wild and hope there are enough tractors available to bail you out when you have to relocate (Pak 43). This led to some strange solutions after the war, like the Soviet gun with a motorcycle engine that could drive on its own, albeit very slowly and not very far.

Edgar Allen Ho posted:

How did the allies win world war 2 on the ground when faced with such superior german vehicles and discipline

Very carefully

Chamale
Jul 11, 2010

I'm helping!





Edgar Allen Ho posted:

How did the allies win world war 2 on the ground when faced with such superior german vehicles and discipline

Because the Germans' nice uniforms made it too difficult to drop their trousers, and they pissed their pants all the time

PittTheElder
Feb 13, 2012

Yes, it's like a lava lamp.



Mr Enderby posted:

I would like some Military Revolution chat. What would happen if a European 15th century army faced an 18th century one? Was it a matter of an increase of overall state capacity, or was there a fundamental improvement in tactics?

The 15th century army would get wrecked nearly every time I'm sure. Greater state capacity means the 18th century army is going to be much bigger, and I don't even know what the 15th century army is supposed to do against field artillery guarded by lines of musket infantry. March away I guess?

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


Things that need salvaging from the previous threads list: Polycav's Iran/Iraq war summaries, Trin Tragula Great War stuff and the Polish-Soviet War effort posts from a thread or two back were great.

How many of us have archives anyway? I can dig around if needed.

HEY GUNS
Oct 11, 2012

FOPTIMUS PRIME


Mr Enderby posted:

I would like some Military Revolution chat. What would happen if a European 15th century army faced an 18th century one? Was it a matter of an increase of overall state capacity, or was there a fundamental improvement in tactics?

Oh wow. In the first place by the eighteenth century the infrastructure is a lot better. Roads, nutrition of the populace, agricultural capacity...

HEY GUNS
Oct 11, 2012

FOPTIMUS PRIME


Chamale posted:

Who wrote the effortpost about Nazi uniforms and why they sucked? One of my favourite things I've seen from this thread, it deserves to be on page one.

that's cessna, who wears them for fun (it's not what it looks like)

HEY GUNS
Oct 11, 2012

FOPTIMUS PRIME


PittTheElder posted:

The 15th century army would get wrecked nearly every time I'm sure. Greater state capacity means the 18th century army is going to be much bigger, and I don't even know what the 15th century army is supposed to do against field artillery guarded by lines of musket infantry. March away I guess?
The muskets are much faster to load as well, and more accurate

Nenonen
Oct 22, 2009



Fallen Rib

PittTheElder posted:

The 15th century army would get wrecked nearly every time I'm sure. Greater state capacity means the 18th century army is going to be much bigger, and I don't even know what the 15th century army is supposed to do against field artillery guarded by lines of musket infantry. March away I guess?

Withdraw into their impenetrable stone castles!

Happy Finnish independence day, btw. Ask me anything about Mannerheim's knights or something

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


HEY GUNS posted:

that's cessna, who wears them for fun (it's not what it looks like)

Doesn't Cessna also have a time share on a Soviet tank for reinacment purposes?

Mr Enderby
Mar 28, 2015



HEY GUNS posted:

Oh wow. In the first place by the eighteenth century the infrastructure is a lot better. Roads, nutrition of the populace, agricultural capacity...

Yes. It's true that 18th century Europeans are better at almost everything than 15th century Europeans. Their bureaucracies are more functional, courts are better, literacy rates are higher, governments are more accountable. But has there been a specific change in military capabilities, or is it just a matter of overall improvement?

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


Mr Enderby posted:

Yes. It's true that 18th century Europeans are better at almost everything than 15th century Europeans. Their bureaucracies are more functional, courts are better, literacy rates are higher, governments are more accountable. But has there been a specific change in military capabilities, or is it just a matter of overall improvement?

Both.

PittTheElder
Feb 13, 2012

Yes, it's like a lava lamp.



Nenonen posted:

Withdraw into their impenetrable stone castles!

<Salivates Orbanly>

Greg12
Apr 22, 2020


actual footage of the eidgenossen militia preparing for the battle of morgarten:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOBiTwYRSzs#t=7s

please note that at the time the two foes did not recognize an ethnic difference like we do today, so what appears to our modern eyes to be an austrian is really a schwyzer halbredier

Solaris 2.0
May 14, 2008



Chamale posted:

Because the Germans' nice uniforms made it too difficult to drop their trousers, and they pissed their pants all the time

One of my favorite thread moments was also that effort post as it had me imagining a group of German's sewing uniforms as fast as possible before the T-34s crush them.

"sew faster hans!"

Chamale
Jul 11, 2010

I'm helping!





I found Cessna's excellent uniform posts from two threads ago.

Cessna posted:

It's a baggy cotton duck (Edit: with increasing rayon/synthetic content as the war goes on) smock with elastic at the waist and wrists.

It's reversible. One side has "Spring" colors (brown, green, black) and the other has "Fall" colors (brown, orange/brown, black).

The reversibility is silly. The smock has built-in pockets which turn inside-out to reverse with fully sewn flaps and buttons on both sides - but the pockets are situated under the Y-strap suspenders and gear so it's hard to get to them.





Best of all, the smock goes on OVER the regular wool feldgrau (field grey) uniform. Remember how I talked about the internal suspenders and aluminum hooks earlier? That's just part of it. A Wehrmacht feldbluse is a ridiculously complex garment. For comparison, a modern men's suit has about 20-25 pieces of cloth cut and sewn together. A feldbluse has over 80 - yes, 80 - pieces of cloth cut to pattern and sewn together, and that does not count the insignia. Every feldbluse - EVERY ONE - was tailored to the individual wearer. Yes, tailored.

Check out the chest pockets, for example. This is an early-war feldbluse:



Look at how the pockets have that curved scallop flap and the folded bellows design. That's not easy to make. By 1943 they had simplified the design to a simple patch-pocket, like this:



But here's the thing - they put all of that work into sewing MILLIONS of those pockets. Cutting the wool, folding it, sewing it on, attaching the pebbled metal buttons... But when you put on that camouflage smock you can't get to the pockets. They're useless. Put on the smock and you can't get to the internal suspenders and hooks either.

They sewed millions and millions of those complex pockets - and millions of the complex internal suspenders, and internal linings, and made hooks - and all of that was useless, wasted cloth and labor.

And, again, the answer is "because Nazis."

Cessna posted:

I've had my hands on originals, and they're sooooo bad. The smock is that canvas-y duck material. It does NOT breathe at all; it's like a canvas trash bag. So your Nazi soldier is wearing:

- a ribbed sleeveless ("wife beater") undershirt.
- a "service shirt." This is sort of like a cotton men's dress shirt, but thicker and longer - that is, it hangs down well below the waist.
- a wool "feldbluse." Scratchy thick wool.
- that canvas-duck smock.
- leather field gear and equipment.

It's a mess - way too hot in the summer, nowhere near enough to stay warm in the winter. Nothing is waterproof. It all smells like wet dog.* The WWII gear I'm most familiar with is US, and it is a generation ahead of the German crap.

* Sometimes you can read WWII memoirs where they talk about going out on patrol and finding Germans by smelling them. "I could just smell the Nazis." Before I did reenacting I thought this was an exaggeration, a soldier's hyperbole. Having done reenacting, it's totally legit. Get that wool uniform and leather field gear wet and it smells like wet dog. It's a really distinctive smell. I can easily imagine if you get a company of troopers wet, and add in tobacco and maybe a cooking fire and you could smell them hundreds of yards away.

[Considering what 1940s industrial tailoring was like, do you know how much of this was finished by hand?]

The smock wasn't. The feldbluse was. I have never seen a WWII German feldbluse (the solid green/gray wool jackets) without some sort of tailoring.

If it means anything, they had unit tailors assigned as a section at the battalion level. Yes, this is insane.

(I always picture a battalion being overrun by T-34s while their sewing section commander yells "Sew faster, Hans! Faster!")

[How did the same people who tailored every feldgrau jacket to every grunt not realize it's impossible to not look like bill clinton c. 1993 in a windbreaker]

All of their stuff looks weird.

[Does this mean that if you were wearing an ss smock over a standard-issue feldgrau jacket you had to take off literally every piece of gear you had to take a poo poo, or do the pants go up and down without engaging with the hook assemblage?]

And the trousers - regular uniform trousers - were held up by their own suspenders, which needed unbuttoned as well.

Hey, if it means anything, their early-war paratroopers had it worse. Their Fallschirmjagers (paratroopers, and I'm too lazy to put the umlaut over the "a") were set up to jump from low altitudes. They wore a distinctive jumper-outfit over their gear, the idea being that it would keep their gear from snagging on anything parachute-related when they jumped.

Guess what? There's sort of a fly opening, but if you want to poop, you have to take off your entire uniform:



Cessna posted:

[what dye and mordant did they use, i might be able to tell if that would have happened]

I don't know the exact dye or color-fasting process off-hand, but I have reference books I can check when I get home tonight.

I DO know that:

- they were manually screen-printed early in the war. Later in the war they switched to machine printing. Some variants had some colors (i.e., the black sections) applied by rollers after the cloth was already dyed. Not all do this, but it is interesting when you catch it.

When you've looked at this stuff for a long time you start seeing where the camouflage pattern repeats itself. In some patterns the green/brown "repeats" at a different rate/in different places than the black. They dyed the cloth with the green and brown, then applied the black in a separate process.

- There were many different varieties of this camouflage. Some used three colors of dye, with areas overlapping to produce the effect of having more colors. On this smock, for example, you can see where the green and light brown overlap at the edges to give a dark brown effect:



- The priority item they made was a thing called a "zeltbahn." This is a triangular section of cloth that is sort of like a half-tent; lace two together and you have a tent. You can also use a single section as a poncho. You can also lace multiple sections together to make even bigger tents.

Here's the crazy part. Some variants of the camouflage were numbered. 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, etc. The idea was that if you lace together the appropriate matches, number-wise, the camouflage pattern on the tent will be continuous, without any breaks or places where the camouflage doesn't line up perfectly.

Like so. This is a reproduction, but you can see the join:



(You can find period photos of this, but in black-and-white you can't see it as well.)

But here's the thing. Say the camouflage doesn't line up perfectly. So what? No one will notice. It's not like an enemy is going to suddenly see your tent because the camouflage lines up 6" off. This is a nightmare of unnecessary complication.

- The pieces of cloth that were left over were stitched together to make the smocks and helmet covers. Sometimes you can find odd numbers stamped in odd places, like so:



This doesn't mean that the guy with this helmet is "Number 6," rather, the cloth was cut from a roll of the #6 cloth I described above. The smocks and helmet covers were made from scraps, and it shows. I have never seen a single one that didn't have some sort of sewing "error" on it - where the camouflage pattern lines up wrong, where there's a bit of "spring" cloth on the "fall" side or vice-versa, where the sewing is just awful, etc. This stuff was made by people who were starved and working at gunpoint, and it shows.

Cessna posted:

[holy loving hell! i'm remembering all those holocaust survivor testimonies where the old hands sneak up behind the author during intake and whisper to them "tell them you're a tailor" and it saves their life! i thought just yeah, useful skills, pretend to have useful skills, but there was a specific reason the SS wanted tailors]

The SS was, in many ways, a self-contained empire.

Those camouflage smocks were sewn by the inmates of concentration camps. If you could use a sewing machine you might survive a bit longer.

Ever see photos of the Warsaw uprising of 1944?



These are Polish fighters. They are wearing Waffen-SS camouflage smocks and helmet covers.

When the Warsaw Uprising started one of the first things they did was liberate the nearby Gęsiówka concentration camp. That camp used inmates to, among other things, make the camouflage cloth and sew it into shelter-sections, smocks, and helmet covers.

The Polish Home Army liberated the camouflage and used it themselves.

Cessna posted:

[germans! ]

They had bellows-sewn buttoned pockets on a shirt inside a tunic which had bellows-sewn buttoned pockets that was itself inside a smock that made all those pockets unreachable, and that smock itself had reversible buttoned pockets that were stuffed under the field gear.

The Aristocrats!

Cessna posted:

No, sorry...

Here's how [Stahlhelms] were bad.

First and foremost, they weren't adjustable. No, really - you had to get one that was the right size for your head, like a hat. They came with 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, or 62 cm liners and corresponding shell sizes. You could not swap a different sized liner into a non-corresponding shell. Think that makes logistics easier?

Helmets were made in multiple stages with multiple mechanical presses. It took multiple individual presses to give the helmet its shape. These are WWI helmets, but the same process was followed in WWII:



There was no real assembly line - a worker would make one press, then put it on a pile. After the pile was high enough the next worker would take the helmets and carry them to the next press. This is confirmed by multiple photos of factories:



The edges were then press rolled by hand. They were also heat-tempered on the front of the helmet. This wasn't done with a huge industrial oven - there are photos of workers grabbing individual helmets with a big steel set of tongs and sticking them in an open furnace. Rivets for ventilation, the liner, and the chin strap were pressed in by hand. They were also spray-painted by hand, not on an assembly line.

After the helmets were painted they were given an individual paper wrapper to make sure the paint wasn't scuffed before it was issued. Think about that for a minute. Here are helmets being wrapped:



Each helmet had two decals (until 1940), again, applied by hand. If you've ever built a model airplane, imagine having to apply thousands of decals all day long:



The liner consisted of five leaf-springs wrapped with a leather liner which was, yes, sewn in by hand. This took a LOT of specialized labor. Here's a photo of a helmet liner. (Not my helmet, but I can take a photo of one of mine if anyone is interested.) You can see the rolled rim pretty well. See that stitching on the seam in the back? Done by hand.



Here's a Fallschirmjager/paratrooper's helmet. See that stitching across the liner? Hand sewn.



In contrast, an American/British/Russian helmet was hot-stamped. This made the helmet in one step and tempered it. Each step after that was automated, done by assembly line. And helmets had adjustable liners, so any soldier could wear them.

By 1942/3 the Germans stopped rolling the edges, dropped the decals, and simplified the manufacturing. Too little, too late.

Cessna posted:

[this is the most German poo poo of all time]

Right up there with the Battalion level tailors are the helmet wrappers.

"What did you do in the war, daddy?"

"I was a helmet wrapping supervisor, I made sure that all helmets were wrapped properly in individual paper wrappers and that all of the corners were folded properly before they were shipped to the supply depots."

Cessna posted:

The stahlhelm - and so help me, now I prefer the term "naughty German helmet" - WAS a bad way to go. It required vastly more labor to produce, and it wasn't really that much better than comparable helmets of the time.

So, you're in charge of allocating resources and manpower. Would you rather employ:

- One soldier with a really good helmet (that still won't stop a rifle bullet) and a helmet-wrapper-supervisor.

- Two soldiers with good helmets.

Cessna posted:

In 1939 the Iron and Steel Specialty Division of the Third Reich Research Council (don't make me type it out in German) tested a bunch of helmets from other countries, some captured, some purchased pre-war. They found that none of the helmets were ideal for protection or ease of manufacture. In 1942 they designed a new helmet that had really good ballistic protection and was easy to make. This was initially designed "on the down low," but the design was so good that they decided to show off the results to Hitler. Hitler liked it, but vetoed production because it didn't look German enough.

This was the helmet that post-war became the standard East German helmet. It looks a bit funny, but it was just as good at being a helmet - maybe even a bit better than the "naughty German" helmet - and it was vastly easier to produce. Check it out, it is one hot-stamped piece of steel, essentially a "naughty German" helmet adapted to be built using American or Soviet manufacturing techniques:



But, again, it was not put into production because it didn't look German enough.

Cessna posted:

[https://www.tankarchives.ca/2017/08/whose-helmet-was-better.html]

[Obvious caveats apply, of course.]

From that report:

"When shooting with a rifle at 800 meters using a mod. 1908 bullet (counting all hits), Soviet helmets were penetrated 7.7-10% of the time, and German helmets were penetrated 34.5% of the time. The PPSh penetrated German helmets 41.4% of the time, but Soviet helmets only 11.5-11.7% of the time. The TT could penetrate German helmets 38.8% of the time, compared to 12.4-13% for Soviet helmets. Even the Nagant could penetrate German helmets 29% of the time..."

Okay, let me revise my question above.

So, you're in charge of allocating resources and manpower. Would you rather employ:

- One soldier with a mediocre helmet and a helmet-wrapper-supervisor.

- Two soldiers with good helmets.

Cessna posted:

The rationale was that they didn't want the "little guy/big helmet" look, so their soldiers wouldn't end up looking like Dark Helmet from Spaceballs. And it goes back to the "tailored" mentality behind uniforms.

Look at those SS smocks - remember how I said that the actual manufacturing of the smocks was pretty crappy, while the wool uniforms were tailored? That's because those weren't viewed as the real uniforms. They were something that you put on over a uniform, but took off when you were marching in front of the cameras on a parade. You went to war in your dress uniform, but covered it with a camouflage smock. Once the fighting was over you took off the smock, prettied up your uniform, and stomped around in parades. That was the ideal.

That's great if you know you can count on victories like 1938/1939/1940. You want a quick campaign, maybe even one without a fight (1938), followed by a snappy-looking parade in front of the cameras for propaganda. Your soldiers will look good in the newsreels.

But in a serious war, like what they faced against the UK/USA/USSR? Forget it.

Cessna posted:

[honestly my takeaway from this all this uniform chat is that fashion considerations play a larger role in military uniform design than most people realize]

YES. Fashion is HUGE. It's all about sending a message.

The Nazis "focus grouped" their uniform designs in 1935/36. They brought in groups of young women and had them evaluate potential uniforms for attractiveness.

Like I said above, think about what a Wehrmacht uniform is designed for - to look good in propaganda films. Combat effectiveness was not a consideration until 1941 or so, and ease of production didn't come into play until after that. Compare a 1918 uniform to a 1940 uniform:

1918:



1940:



The 1940 uniform is tighter. It is more tailored. This makes it look sharper and cleaner - again, it looks better on parades, more streamlined and modern - but the fact is that a baggy uniform is more practical in combat.

The 1940 uniform has much more complex insignia. Look at the collar - they all have "Litzen," those little bars on the collar. In WWI these were only for "Guards" - that is, elites. In WWII all soldiers had them, the message being "you're all elites now."

(As an aside, sewing that litzen is horrible. You have to fold the cloth, sew it to a backing, then sew that to the collar. It's miserable.)

The 1940 buttons are shinier, there are complex pockets. Again, this is to look good, not for combat practicality or ease of manufacture.

It's all about sending a message - these soldiers are going to fight a fast, decisive, modern war, then look good in the victory parade.

Trin Tragula
Apr 22, 2005





This needs to be on every first page of every thread

I'd also like to encourage all the lurkers who feel intimidated by big hulking megathreads to get stuck in and just ask whatever's on your mind about military history.

Acebuckeye13
Nov 2, 2010

There's only one prescription for Nazism and it's 76mm HVAP





Ultra Carp

Ensign Expendable posted:

Towed anti-tank guns used by all nations quickly hit the point where a gun that could knock out any enemy tank was simply too heavy to push around the battlefield by hand. The solution to this was either to keep lighter guns that were still okay against most tanks (ZIS-3, 6-pounder) or go hog wild and hope there are enough tractors available to bail you out when you have to relocate (Pak 43). This led to some strange solutions after the war, like the Soviet gun with a motorcycle engine that could drive on its own, albeit very slowly and not very far.


Very carefully

While this is obviously all true, US towed guns stand out as being especially bad.

For those who don't know: US TD doctrine was created as a reaction to the fall of France. Specially trained and equipped TD units (Both towed and self-propelled) would be held in reserve to react to armored breakthroughs, using high strategic and tactical mobility to position themselves in key defensive positions to defeat enemy armor.

As a strategic doctrine, this failed for more then a few reasons. By the time the US was in Europe, the Germans weren't exactly conducting armored offensives, and it didn't make sense to hold back perfectly good guns and tanks to wait for an offensive that would never come. So the TD units were sent out onto the battlefield, with differing results.

The self-propelled guns (Mainly the M10, M18, and M36) generally perfomed well. While these vehicles were all flawed to varrying degrees (the lack of a roof stands out in particular), they were reliable, packed decent guns, and the M18 in particular had excellent tactical mobility that the well-trained crews were able to make the most of.

By contrast, the towed guns were a disaster. These units were equipped with M5 3 inch guns, the same weapon found on the M10. The AT performance of this weapon was good in 1942-43 but barely adequate for 1944 - and this was made worse by the sheer physical bulk of the gun, originally designed in 1918, and exacerbated by the also-overly large gun carriage it was mounted to (originally designed for the M2 Howitzer). This meant that by late 1944, the towed TD units were equipped with a gun that was massive, barely mobile, and had relatively weak AT performance - so that when the TD doctrine was finally put to the test at the Battle of the Bulge, the towed gun units were mostly slaughtered (while the SPGs performed admirably). After the Bulge, pretty much all the towed guns were converted to self-propelled units, for obvious reasons.

Outside of the specialized TD units, US AT guns generally lagged about a generation behind everyone else. While the Germans were using the 75mm PaK 40 and the Brits were using the 76mm 17 pounder, the standard US AT gun was still the 57mm M1, adapted from the British 6 pounder. And even up to December 1944, the US was *still* using the completely obsolete 37mm M3.

Granted, this all didn't matter a whole hell of a lot. The US had enough Shermans, artillery, tank destroyers, and bazookas that infantry units were rarely lacking for anti-tank protection, and outside of the Bulge German armor offensives were fairly rare on the Western front. So the US could afford to have a nonsensical doctrine and bad AT guns, because we were doing well enough in other areas that outside of a handful of engagements it didn't really matter (though obviously it sucked a whole hell of a lot of the guys who were in those engagements)

HEY GUNS
Oct 11, 2012

FOPTIMUS PRIME


hahahaha the germans packing their helmets like expensive chocolates hahahahaha

SeanBeansShako
Nov 20, 2009


quote:

Hey, if it means anything, their early-war paratroopers had it worse. Their Fallschirmjagers (paratroopers, and I'm too lazy to put the umlaut over the "a") were set up to jump from low altitudes. They wore a distinctive jumper-outfit over their gear, the idea being that it would keep their gear from snagging on anything parachute-related when they jumped.

Guess what? There's sort of a fly opening, but if you want to poop, you have to take off your entire uniform:



To quote a fictional grown man in a Butterfly villain costume:

quote:

Nice onesie, dick. Does it have snaps in the back so you can make poopie?

ChubbyChecker
Mar 25, 2018



Trin Tragula posted:



This needs to be on every first page of every thread

I'd also like to encourage all the lurkers who feel intimidated by big hulking megathreads to get stuck in and just ask whatever's on your mind about military history.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Lawman 0
Aug 17, 2010





Hello new thread!
Didn't catch up with the old one and this was probably covered but did we have a discussion of the recent military history of Ethiopia? I was curious what the current conflict looks like and why it's apparently due to something dating back to the civil war.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply