Anti-Tank Guns Rate of Fire

Discussion in 'Command Ops Series' started by TitaniumShadow, Apr 20, 2020.

  1. TitaniumShadow

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    I am getting back into this game after a long break and am playing the Marsa el Brage scenario. While examining the units available, I noticed that all the German AT Guns seemed to have a low Rate of Fire (RoF) [Note that all numbers are Rapid RoF in game].

    The RoF for the 4.7 cm pak 36 (t) is listed as 2 rounds/min (r/m) in game.
    The RoF for the 3.7 cm Pak 36 is listed as 6 r/m in game.
    The RoF for the 8.8 cm Flak 35 is listed as 2 r/m in game.
    The RoF for the 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 is listed as 2 r/m in game.​

    Looking on the Internet to see what the consensus is about the rates of fire for these guns gives some much higher numbers (and yes, I don't take these numbers to be 100% accurate either).

    The RoF for the 4.7 cm pak 36 (t) is listed as 15-20 rounds/min (r/m) in War Thunder (no Wikipedia data).
    The RoF for the 3.7 cm Pak 36 is listed as 13 r/m in Wikipedia.
    The RoF for the 8.8 cm Flak 35 is listed as 15-20 r/m in Wikipedia.
    The RoF for the 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 12–15 r/m in Wikipedia.​

    For comparison, the 16" 50 caliber Mark 7 gun used on the Iowa class Battleships is listed as 2 r/m on Wikipedia, which they regularly achieved in bombing coastal targets during WWII.

    The Editor Manuel states that:

    Rates of Fire - The number of rounds fired per minute at Slow, Normal and Rapid rates of fire. Please note that these are practical rates of fire not cyclical or theoretical rates of fire.​

    But the in game numbers still seem really low. The 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24 was used on the Ausf. A to Ausf. F1 models of the PzKpfw IV and I'm sure it could get at least 6 carefully aimed shots off in a minute without much trouble.

    Anybody have any idea why the RoF numbers for AT Guns are so low in game? Is it perhaps a play balance thing to reduce the lethality of guns in general? To reduce ammunition usage (I can see a tank using up all its ammunition in less than 5 minutes of game time with a more "realistic" rate of fire)? Because actually getting the opportunity for that many "good" shots at a target is not going to be very common? Or is there some other reason I'm not thinking of?
     
    #1 TitaniumShadow, Apr 20, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2020
  2. john connor

    john connor Member

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    Well - and I'm guessing - in a combat situation I would expect it would be pretty unusual for an 88mm, for example, firing flat trajectory in the AT role, to expend 1,200 rounds in a solid hour of combat because that wouldn't typically represent what combat might be like at anything but a firing range, no? And if an 88 was getting through all its rounds like that in game we'd be wondering what was going on in terms of the relative lethality, as you suggest. So, though I don't know the reason for a lower than possible rate (lower than theoretical, as you point out), I'm guessing that what you're trying to do in coding the game is get the combat to work out with realistic expenditure and realistic hits and kills given the massive level of abstraction involved, where in RL all sorts of micro tactical things would be going on to disrupt the chance of getting 20 targets a minute. As to how you strike the balance, I've no idea. I suppose Dave will have done something in terms of comparing theoretical rates for many guns and scaling them down relative to each other to get a practical rate. Does it seem to work ok to you in terms of kills and expenditure?
     
  3. jimcarravallah

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    I think your answer involves what is considered a "practical rate of fire."

    There is a difference between design to specifications rates of fire, which is more than likely what weapons information sources are drawing from, and those used in combat or "practical rates of fire."

    Though not modeled in the game, weapons suffer creeping degradation in their effectiveness when used in combat. This is due to the wear and accumulation of ash in the barrel and the effects of heating the barrel under high rates of fire. The more rounds fired between maintenance intervals, the more serious the degradation.from wear and accumulation of ash. The faster the rate of fire in a short period of time, the greater the increase in heating degradation.

    Crews are trained to use their weapons in a manner that minimizes the adverse effects so the weapons remain viable during the term of combat.

    A practical rate of fire would take into account both the limitations of ammunition available to the weapon, and the rate of fire that maintains the highest reliability for the longest period of time.

    The first issue is more easily tracked in the game. The second can be addressed by designing weapons to fire at a less than optimal rate to mimic the typical use that extends reliability in combat.
     
  4. TitaniumShadow

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    All good points. The results of battles in CO2 seem "realistic" (for the most part), so the program does a pretty good job of modeling the various factors going into combat.

    But for a scenario designer, I can see it being a bit confusing to pick an "appropriate" RoF for a weapon. It probably would have been clearer if the more "realistic" values for RoF had been used and then the program could have applied a factor to decrease the RoF for calculations. The factor seems to be around 6-8, except for the 3.7 cm Pak 36 which looks to be around 2 for some reason.

    Not a big deal, as the people doing scenario design are almost certainly already aware of the issue.
     
    #4 TitaniumShadow, Apr 21, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  5. Grognerd

    Grognerd Member

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  6. TitaniumShadow

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  7. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    Interesting points.
    Even the first version (Flak 18) of the Flak 8,8-cm-FlaK 18/36/37 was a semi-automatic gun.
    The breach opened automatically after the round was fired and also automatically ejected the empty case.
    For rapid direct fire on a stationary target (eg. stronghold or say an immobilized tank) or for rapid fire in its artillery role (high-angle fire), a halfway experienced crew could fire 1 shell every 2-3 seconds, so 20-30 rounds per minute.

    The practical rate of fire is indicated as 15-20 rounds per Minute, by most German sources.
    Since the barrel of the improved version, the Flak 36 and 37, consisted of 3 sections, the Germans just had to replace the most worn out part (in most cases the section with the ignition device, means the section near the breach), to extend the gun's lifespan. Field repair shops and even gun crews could replace the section, iirc.

    The modified version that was employed in the Tiger I (also a barrel with 3 sections) had a lifespan of 6,000 rounds, I could imagine that the exchange of the first segment could extend the lifespan there, as well.
    I've read veteran reports that described how Panther crews replaced gun barrels on the EF, aided by an engineer from the repair shop (the engineer gave the orders, the crew had to do the heavy duty, lol), for instance. Both manuals ("Tigerfibel" and the "Pantherfibel") explained how to realign barrel/gun sights too, btw.

    Statistically, the avg. rate of fire in a Tiger I was 9.2 rounds per minute (1 round every 6-7 seconds), but very experienced/well trained Tiger crews managed to fire up to 13.7 rounds per minute, where then 1 shell was fired every 4.3 secs, for rapid fire.

    In this video, you can see rapid Flak fire, where I would say that the crew fires around 1 shell every 3 (or even under 3) seconds for a rapid fire mission:

    (WARNING, some nut added generic gun sounds to the footage, I recommend to turn down the volume before you start the video :p)



    Artillery gun with two-piece ammunition (sFH 18 - projectile + powder bag) on rapid fire, the crew manages to fire one round every 3.5 secs at the end of the segment, that's a quite impressive fire rate:



    For comparison: the 155mm-Panzerhaubitze 2000 (Tank Howitzer 2000, where the fully automatic loading system has to handle two-piece ammunition: shells + powder bags) can fire 10 rounds per minute, 20 rounds per 180 seconds or 3 rounds within 10 seconds, where the latter would be the system's special mode with the gradual reduction of trajectory (and reduction of powder bags?), so that 3 rounds hit the target at the very same time - for max effect, according to the German Ministry of Defense.
     
    #7 GoodGuy, Apr 21, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2020
  8. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    The accumulation of ash could be reduced/avoided by keeping a strict cleaning regime, to some extent at least.
    Overheating was a common issue when smaller calibre high-rpm weapons like say MGs and 20-mm flak guns were used. The 20-mm auto-cannons usually had mags with 20 rounds (20-mm-Flak 30) or 40 rounds (in its successor Flak 38), variants of the flak 38 had 10-round mags only, so in practice overheating rarely occured. I wouldn't rule out that a few 20-mm guns were belt-fed, eg. on speed boats/torpedo boats, so that overheating may have occured occasionally.
    MG gunners were taught to fire bursts of 4-5 rounds only, but there are quite a few veteran reports which describe that MG gun crews had to use 2 and even 3 replacement barrels to fend off Russian inf waves on the EF. Adrenaline/panic was a factor, which then caused some crews to go through whole belts, instead of resorting to more effective burts.

    MG crew member no. 3 and 4 (gun crews were reduced to 3 later on) carried 1 replacement barrel each, so having a 3rd barrel would have been an irregular forage.

    The main factor was the wear-induced degradation, though, which led to a reduction of contact between barrel and projectile, as the rifling started to disappear in the rear part of the bore and as the calibre increased in the front part (means towards the tip of the barrel), which then resulted in a decrease of the projectile's spin rate and velocity.
    The official/expected wear limit of the chrome-plated MG 42 barrel was 8,000 rounds, the non-plated barrel's limit was ~4,000 rounds, and 10,000 - 12,000 rounds on 20-mm auto-cannons, for instance.

    "Study on performance degradation and failure analysis of machine gun barrel"
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214914719303861

    Generally, the mechanical pressure/stress mainly produced the wear and tear, not thermal parameters.
    This goes especially for tank guns, AT guns + artillery pieces like field guns and howitzers.

    With (very) large-calibre guns, the massive amount of powder also burned out the barrels.
    This goes for ship guns, large mortars used by the Germans and Russians and the various rail guns, ofc, where separate projectiles and (large) powder bags were used.
    The 800-mm "Dora" rail gun's barrel had reached its wear limit even before the projected limit of 100 rounds (which would have been caused by the sheer weight/size of the shells), because the high-performance propellant charges (weight: 1,850 kg) burned out the barrel, so that the accuracy had drastically decreased after 15 rounds, already.
    The size of the projectiles for large calibre guns then had to be slightly increased, if such guns were re-rifled and used again.
    Re-rifled heavy field guns and howitzers received resized projectiles as well.

    So, with regular artillery and high calibre (anti-)tank guns, the degradation wasn't caused by heat or overheating, but by the (mass of the) shells, where then the "wear" was actually an increase of the barrel's front section's calibre and (mainly) the fading of the rifling in the rear section. Since the Germans introduced two- and even three-part barrels on a number of platforms (eg. Tiger I, Tiger II, Flak 88, artillery pieces, etc.), they could extend barrel lifespans by exchanging the most worn-out barrel sections (often the rear section).
     
    #8 GoodGuy, Apr 22, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
  9. jimcarravallah

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    If performed during combat, all of the above maintenance tasks would effectively reduce the overall unit cyclical rate of fire during combat by leaving some weapons to firing at optimum rates while taking others out of combat to perform the maintenance.

    Since the game doesn't model individual weapons breakdowns, repairs, and return to combat during the term of combat, the reduction in rates of fire mimic the effect of performing those actions.

    Your analysis of heating is wrong.

    High velocity weapons with long barrels suffer from deformation when heat is applied to the barrel. The M1 tank has such a sensitive aiming process to fire while traveling that special sensor is added to the end of the barrel to compensate for that deformation at the time a round is fired. The measure on that includes performing a correction for the heating of the top of the barrel from exposure to sunlight to compensate for barrel sag.

    While World War II aiming systems weren't as sensitive in detecting the deformation as modern day systems, but similar degradations occurred and reduced weapons effectiveness form heat during firing. These were mitigate in part, as you say, by reducing the number of rounds fired in a short period of time particularly for firing at line of sight targets.
     
  10. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    Heat (and the resulting deformation) affects most and foremost accuracy (and range to some extent), as the barrel fails to completely contain the explosive force, eventually, when the heat keeps building up. That's why the M1 has a muzzle reference system that compensates for the amount of barrel drop (but also for target speed and shell type) that is caused by heat. But it also factors in wind speed, shell weight, barometric pressure, etc.

    The water- or oil-cooled MGs could be used for longer bursts or even sustained fire for a longer time, until they started to become inaccurate.
    Even Air-cooled high velocity miniguns have RoF selectors that can be set to RoFs of 6,000 rpm, because each barrel gets enough cool-down time when the barrels are rotating, but they still feature velocities of 900 m/s or higher. In short: proper cooling avoids extensive deformation, and the shell velocity alone can't render such HV device unusable after say 2,000 rounds (per barrel). Addit. wear does occur over time, with HV ammo/guns, though.

    High velocity guns: There weren't many true high velocity guns around at the time. I'd consider the captured Russian 76.2 mm field gun, which the Germans rechambered - so that the longer PaK 40 cartridge could be used (which was almost 100% longer and 10 mm wider), to be a high velocity gun, after it had received the German ammunition, at least, as it then reached 990 m/sec with the lighter German tungsten round.
    The Panther's gun was definitely a high velocity gun (1,130 m/s with Panzergranate 40), as well as the King Tiger's KwK 43 (a modified PaK 43), which featured velocities of 1,130 m/s and 1,000 m/s.
    Same goes for the British 17-pounder (1,200 m/s with APDS, 900 m/s with APDBC).

    Another high-velocity concept was the squeeze-bore, which was used in the 75-mm PaK 41 (1,230 m/s), using sub-calibre tungsten cores, and in the 42-mm light PaK 41, both were produced in very low numbers (below 140, both had conical barrels), and there were conical tank gun prototypes, but all of these guns required the scarce tungsten ressource and it was rather complicated to mass produce the cartridges.
    Barrel wear was so massive, that it wasn't deemed practical to have guns with such low lifespans.
    The only German weapon using the concept and seeing somewhat wider use was an AT-tank rifle.

    The Brits used the concept in the adaptors for the QF-2 and QF-6 pounders and the MGs (with a reduction from .50 cal to .30 cal). The PaK 41 barrel had a lifespan of 600 - 1,000 rounds only, so it's understandable that the general concept didn't gain sufficient acceptance in most armies.

    Regular-bore guns that offer high velocities (the type/size/weight of ammunition is a vital factor) do wear somewhat faster, you can even observe that effect on pistols, if you use HV rounds, but their barrels don't wear as fast as squeeze-bore gun barrels, so the effect was/is less of a factor as you seem to think, as their wear limits still amount/ed to thousands of rounds.

    Plus, if you can exchange barrel sections, like say in the Tiger tanks and flak 88 guns, in a timely fashion (a few hrs, if at all), then the weapon does not leave the weapon pool, as you suggest. Such repairs could even be (and were) performed in the field.
    But this made some German units put less focus on economizing.

    Now, heat erosion is a factor, though, stainless steel barrels were less prone to such erosion than chromium-plated barrels, at the time.
    In turn, chromium-plated barrels were less prone to mechanical wear than stainless steel barrels, which explains why the Wehrmacht prefererred plated MG-42 barrels eventually.

    The M1 uses the licensed German Rheinmetall gun, a hard-strength steel barrel that is hard chrome-plated on the inside. The gun can produce velocities between 1,640 and 1,760 m/s, the lifespan of the German version employed in the Leopard 2 is ~ 500 rounds, and 300 rounds with more powerful (and abrasive) powder cartridges.

    But such velocities were not possible back then.

    So the mentioned shell velocities alone - reached with the described high velocity guns - didn't cause massive failures or massive replacement demands, as the high velocities produced by such higher calibre guns usually neither caused extensive overheating, nor an extremely short lifespan (due to mechanical wear). Engagements (tank gun or AT gun) usually weren't long enough to ever reach a state where overheating (caused by prolongued RoF) could have become an issue in terms of heat erosion.
    In terms of accuracy: yes, most likely, if you fire a long rapid series of 20 or more rounds in a desperate attempt to hit an armored recon car trying to evade and going 90 km/h, then you will just hit the ground in front of you (virtually), at some point, due to the developing heat. :happy:
    If you give the gun time to cool down, then the mid- and long-range accuracy will improve again.
     
    #10 GoodGuy, Apr 22, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2020
  11. jimcarravallah

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    Prevention being more effective than waiting for the cure under combat conditions, this explains why the rate of fire for a weapon isn't optimized to the design parameters.

    Information I procured to support combat vehicle training and operating instruction development during my career with the US Army would contain the recommended rate of fire information to assure the the weapon was used effectively under combat conditions.

    Included in those instructions was a warning that maintaining a higher rate of fire resulted in reduced accuracy and potential damage to the weapon.
     
    #11 jimcarravallah, Apr 23, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  12. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    But then you may also have at least 2 factors, or you could say constraints, in actual combat :

    a) the human factor, especially in a conscript army, and/or if training level and discipline are deteriorating. Panic and/or lack of training and/or lack of discipline may then prevent that instructions are followed. External circumstances can contribute to such deteriorations, eg. weather and health/hygiene conditions (Malaria, constant rain, lack of clean water, lack of food, etc.).

    b) external circumstances, as in the actual combat situation/setting. If you have waves of Japanese soldiers (eg. Bloody Ridge on Guadalcanal) or Russian soldiers getting within hand grenade range, you will be tempted (rather forced) to use full auto with your MG if you want to survive/hold the perimeter, even if you are low on ammo or even if you know that the barrel will overheat, simply because you face superior numbers.

    A German vet reported about a trench line that was attacked by successive waves of Russian inf, where he operated one of the last 2 remaining MGs. When he heard that the other MG had stopped firing, he saw that the Russians figured that they had a chance to get up to the trench. He kept up his high RoF, but then his MG jammed. It turned out that the other MG crew had to replace the barrel, and when he had fixed his MG, the other crew could fire again, as well. The few remaining riflemen had kept up resistance with their carbines, but with this involuntary break, the Russians had gotten well within hand grenade range and started to lob the first few grenades into the trenches, while trying to storm the perimeter at the same time. The 2 MGs then mowed down each and every enemy, on full auto, pretty much in front of the trenches. The action was so intense, that the veteran didn't realize that his loader had been shot in the head. There were plenty of such scenarios in early 1942, when the Germans decided to dig in on for weeks/months in a number of sectors. The prolongued high RoF made his gun jam and forced the other crew to change their barrel.

    The German unit that was attacked in Afghanistan in 2009, and that lost a Fuchs APC (and 3 soldiers inside) was under such pressure (AK, MG and RPG fire, etc.), that their high RoF return fire led to the overheating of the barrel mounts (plastic) of their G36 rifles. The sustained fire/high ammo expenditure and the resulting heat then rendered the gun sights/optics completely inaccurate, as the barrels had changed position/alignment, so that actually the sights would have had to be readjusted (which wasn't possible during combat, ofc). After the battle, the soldiers reported that even fully aimed shots completely missed insurgents at ranges of 50-100 meters. Superiors tried to downplay the whole ordeal and attributed the missed shots to the high level of stress among soldiers.

    The Press and an officer who was formerly employed in the Army's weapon test facility then revealed a major shortcoming of the G36:
    HK's G36 design did not cater for combat situations where excessive ammo expenditure or severe weather conditions (the mounts also deformed when the guns were exposed to direct sunlight in Afghanistan for an hour or longer) would severely heat up the barrel (thus the plastic mount) or the plastic component of the gun.
    Technically, the gun was a low temperature and fair/european weather gun that was neither suitable for high RoFs, nor high temp conditions in desert regions.

    Nowadays, and due to different combat doctrines and tactics, individual soldiers do not face seemingly endless waves of enemy soldiers anymore, which makes it easier to try and follow guidelines for effective/economic expenditure. Back in the day, excessive ammo expenditure and (often forced) disregard of (ordnance) recommendations/guidelines was pretty common, though.

    And close combat is rarely played by the book, anyways. If a game generally simulates effective/economic expenditure on medium and long ranges, that is fine. German orders (not just the manuals and rule books) were quite strict, superiors usually ordered Tiger I crews not to engage moving targets at distances above 2,000 meters, and rather recommended 1,500 meters as general engagement range - to preserve ammo, for instance, and even the Tiger's comic-style manual reminded tank crews to save ammo for more promising targets at 2,000 meters or below. Still, Flak 88 gun crews in North Africa had confirmed tank kills at 2,400 meters, and Tiger I tanks knocked out AT gun positions at ranges of 2,700 - 3,000 meters (using a higher arc) at Kursk, so adherence varied, obviously.

    But if it doesn't cater for high expenditures in close combat situations, or for historical situations where smaller forces faced superior enemy forces (where the smaller force was then forced to expend more ammo), then this would be a lack of realism, imho.
     
    #12 GoodGuy, Apr 23, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  13. jimcarravallah

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    Yes, all your anecdotal information occurs in real combat.

    How much of it do you think can be programmed into a combat simulation that is designed to play on a typical PC operating in a Windows 10 environment?

    I supported design of logistics concerns -- realistic supply support, realistic reliability effects, and realistic maintenance tasks -- being incorporated into real time battalion level combat training simulations for the US Army.

    The computational requirements to address those effects at a single work station for an individual battalion-level combat commander required significantly more powerful workstations than a commercially-available PC and more electric power than is available in a typical residence to match all the realities of the combat arena.

    Even then, some nuances of a total battlefield environment were emulated rather than modeled in detail.

    The goal was to establish expertise in combat command dealing with the most frequently occuring and pervasive problems in the battlefield environment while leaving the relatively few anomalies to those issues to be resolved on an emergency basis.

    The game does the same at an extraordinary level compared to others.
     
  14. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    That's not exactly a programming (or computing power) problem, but a question of game design or design doctrine.

    Example: You have 3 coys in the game attacking 1 enemy Coy that is stationary/dug in.
    The game routines already factor in the state of the unit (eg. dug in, entrenched, fortified) and the terrain (eg. woods, fortification, etc.) It doesn't matter which side the player picked in this example.

    A realistic depiction would then assume/simulate, that the attackers have elements that (try to) suppress the enemy positions (with MGs, mortars, maybe even arty pieces), which make rapid advance easier, but where the main effort of the attackers is on reaching the actual enemy position. The game factors in suppression for arty units, for example (they pause or delay arty missions if they are fired upon), it also forces attacking/moving units to take cover once the suppression level hits a certain threshold, if I am not mistaken.
    For the suppressing weapons, normal or high RoF (depending on distance) can be assumed, but the rest of the attackers' weapons, means the small arms, would just be used sporadically during the quick advance, especially if those are mainly just carbines and a few MPs. Storming troops don't have time to stop for aimed shots, plus they are in a rain of defensive fire.
    The engine renders support weapons, and just abstracts the part where such weapons would be placed behind the grunts (for their support efforts).

    The defenders will have to switch to RoFs between normal and high once the attackers get into effective range, and may be forced to switch to prolongued high RoF at 200 meters and below (small arms), with the high rof weapons like MGs and say auto-20mm cannons etc. engaging earlier (higher range) but also switching to the highest RoF and being used excessively at medium and short distances.

    I'd assume that such adaptive RoF can be implemented with a few routines, I wouldn't think that the core of the game would have to be completely rearranged for such addition.

    You keep pointing to warnings in US Army instructions and pamphlets, but such modern instructional material a) doesn't reflect actual/historical usage or expenditure in the field, b) nor does it provide any info about a given nation's/army's historical expenditure regime, let alone the historical regime during individual battles or in individual units (a division or Corps, for example).
    Historical instruction material, which you don't even cite, gives you an idea what ordnance or supply channels layed out as desired procedures/expenditures, but their implementation in actual combat could differ a lot, in some cases just between theaters, but in other cases between sectors or even units.
    Local or regional differences could be caused by the supply situation, a commander's personal opinion/aggressiveness or by the quality/number of enemies.
    Btw, the game engine already takes commander abilities and troop abilities and training levels into account, so the RoF could be even tied to those values (if it isn't already, deep down under the hood for the AI opponents), if the player doesn't want to set the RoF for each task and if he'd rather like to trust the unit's virtual commander.

    For instance, the British MG Bns employed in early 1945 didn't seem (or have to) care about ammo expenditure and rules about blind fire, they used their heavy MGs for large scale interdiction-fire missions (ballistic fire) across the river (at Wesel, before the Wesel Operation) in 1945, after aerial recon had reported larger troop movements.
    The Bns used arty grids and figured later (after they got across the Rhine) that they actually created a whole mess in the German rear, as they had targeted several road hubs that were used for troop relocation and that were also used by the supply columns. They also hit one unit on R&R, iirc.

    British manuals had pointed out the fire method, but stressed to refrain from performing the method unobserved, in order to preserve ammo, as user TMO and me pointed out in a discussion about British MG Bns, way back in the Matrix forums.

    Research then has to verify if such usage was a widespread procedure (while ballistic MG fire missions became popular in one or another Italian sector, iirc, and obviously in the Wesel region, it wasn't a widespread type of usage, btw). The game designer then has to decide if such ability is worth to be rendered, for instance. So quite a few nuances come down to design decisions/doctrine, and to feasibility checks (programming-wise), not necessarily technical restrictions (eg. computing power).

    Not all details have to (and can be) emulated, ofc, ecpecially in a PC-game. But the predefined rates of fire detailed by TitaniumShadow appear to be surprisingly low, and take away quite some realism of the simulation, imho, if the game engine really operates with such low numbers.

    The 2 rounds/per minute as high RoF for a Flak 88 would even undercut any recommended expenditure in any field manual by far, and also resemble a totally calm area, like in Russia, where the Germans sporadically fired at the surfaces of frozen lakes and rivers with their 88s, to flip their time-fuzed shells into the Russian trenches on the other side, or where they performed daily unobserved harrassment fire missions (which used to be pretty accurate, even though they had to rely on arty grids) targeting the Russian rear, in sectors with fixed fronts.

    PS: I am sure that cloud computing and modern supercomputers used by the US Army nowadays are able to render more nuances, and that even individual workstations with 10 or more cores (or even with a twin- or quad-CPU setup with 20+ or 40+ cores) can handle a wide array these days.
    An operational game that puts the focus on operational planning and the corresponding command structure, not on supplies, doesn't need such power, nor does it have to cover all nuances.
    And a lot of details are abstracted, already, anyways.
    But if different rates of fire and ammo comsumption are rendered, then those routines should be fed with historical RoF values, and not with numbers that are even way below the (historically) expected normal conditions or below any recommended/projected RoF presented in original field manuals, imho.

    PS2: In the past, you mentioned or pointed out my "anecdotal" additions in other discussions a couple of times, and your usage of the term came across as somewhat derogative, each time, tbh.
    "Anecdotal information" may look like a reference to more isolated/rare events/usages/procedures at first glance, but they may actually provide a better picture of say historical usages or customs, in some fields.
     
    #14 GoodGuy, Apr 23, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2020
  15. Perturabo

    Perturabo Member

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    Almost every description of AT gun fire I saw included crew frantically shooting as fast as possible. I think gun being physically destroyed by tanks is more pressing concern than gun/ammo getting used up.
     
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  16. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

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    Correct. Especially the crews of German AT guns with muzzle brakes had a rather short life expectancy at times, despite the usual advantage regarding effective range and optics (eg. PaK 40). Quite a few early versions of the muzzle brakes directed most of the shell blast to the ground only, which created huge smoke/dust clouds on dry/sandy ground which could be spotted from afar, easily. But even a fully camo'ed gun say at the edge of a wood would give away its position with such huge blast. Enemy tanks would then just switch to HE and try to knock out the gun. It then came down to RoF and accuracy, basically like a race between those crews, the winner was the crew who managed to score first. It seems like some crews asked their field shops to remove the muzzle brakes, but I have not seen any evidence, yet.
    A rermoval may have overstrained/damaged the gun slide mechanism.
    In wooded areas, some PaK crews moved their guns well inside woods, and resorted to covering the FoF gaps between the trees, to avoid detection.
     

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