Bombarding Enemy Armor Units

Discussion in 'CO2 - Game Support' started by AdmSteebe, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. AdmSteebe

    AdmSteebe Member

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    Hello All,

    I've got myself into a pickle. One of my supplying bases was eliminated which has put my supply routes at a snails pace. Several of my artillery units have no HE ammo but have plenty of AP ammo. I'm attempting to engage the armor units with either fire or bombard orders but the AP ammo doesn't seem to be firing. Is it possible to select the AP ammo to fire at the enemy armor unit?

    Thanks,

    Steve
     
  2. john connor

    john connor Member

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    You can't select, no. I wonder if the AP shells would only be used in direct fire mode? ie; if your guns were at very close range firing flat trajectory at armour, in an AT role? Even that is automatic though.

    Which scenario is it?
     
  3. jimcarravallah

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    It depends on what kind of weapons are available to fire the AP rounds. In the World War II era, AP was a direct fire (line of sight) weapon, meaning the gun firing it had to see the target before engaging it. It largely relied on the mass and velocity (kinetic energy) of the round to penetrate armor to be effective. There were shaped charges (high energy armor piercing) which relied on explosives in the projectile to penetrate armor, but those, too, were fired at targets along a line of sight and at high velocities.

    Most guns which can bombard rely on tossing high energy (HE) rounds to explode over an area at low velocities. They are usually fired at targets in non-line of sight situations -- the area where he shell hits is out of the sight of the personnel firing the weapon. The projectile's explosive force and shrapnel is good against formations of soldiers or unarmored vehicles, but not effective against a tank unless they score a direct hit on the target. Because the crew can't see what the shell hits once it is fired, it would be almost impossible to use that firing mode to assure a hit on a single tank either with a HE round or, if it was lofted in the same manner, an AP round.

    There were few World War II-era weapons which could be converted from bombardment roles to high velocity armor piercing direct fire roles on the battlefield (the German 8.8 cm Flak 18/36/37/41 (88) was used in both roles in an ad hoc basis during the later combat on the Eastern Front, but was primarily designed as an anti-tank direct fire, and anti-aircraft weapon).

    Bottom line is, unless your artillery unit also has anti-tank guns assigned it, there is little use for anti-tank AP rounds once the HE has been consumed.
     
  4. Bob Hanna

    Bob Hanna Member

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    Jim:

    Your explanation does not make sense to me. I have read plenty of accounts of medium and light artillery weapons firing anti-tank rounds directly at armored targets. Some that come immediately to mind are the British 25pdr (87mm), the German leHB 18 (105mm) and the Russian 76.2mm regimental gun. All of these were issued both HE and AP ammo and there are lots of accounts that they used AP effectively in an AP role. There are probably lots more but all of these are primarily indirect fire HE weapons but all were effective in an A/T role also. The main reason they were not used more as A/T was that they were exposed to return fire when firing directly and were considered much too valuable to risk their loss in anything but a self defense situation.

    Clearly larger calibre artillery weapons could not effectively fire AP because of an extreme fire arc or they did not have efficient sights to fire directly. In those cases they should not have AP rounds available.

    It could be that the problem is, as John mentioned, the player wants to fire AP where there is no direct fire line of sight. In that situation it would make sense that his weapon would not fire.

    Bob
     
  5. jimcarravallah

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    Without information on what scenario, which side was being controlled by the human player, and what artillery units were being ordered to fire, I resorted to the technology and combat doctrine of the day to attempt to answer the question.

    Yes, as I indicated, some weapons could address dual roles on he battlefield, but those were assigned in primary and secondary tiers at the unit level. An artillery unit was generally used for indirect fire support because of its vulnerability to direct fire attacks and its lack of maneuverability when confronted with an armor or infantry attack. I don't recall reading about any unit ever being told to perform an indirect fire mission and then jump over to a direct fire anti-tank mission on demand.

    The US Army was wrestling with the concept in the early 2000s when we were designing a highly maneuverable air deployable independent combat brigade. It resolved the issue of anti-tank defense for towed artillery with a combination of missile launchers and smart rounds assigned to protect the weapons units because one gun tube couldn't perform both missions on demand with the same efficiency.
     
  6. Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor

    Dave 'Arjuna' O'Connor Panther Games Designer

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    Actually, the British 1st Airborne Division at Arnhem used its regiment of 25 pdrs to engage in direct fire en-masse when the German armour threatened their bridgehead. But this was direct fire. One of the beauties of the 25 pdr gun was that it could swivel on its base and shift fairly quickly between direct and indirect fire modes. Russian 76.2mm gun/how were similarly capable. I bow to other experts though when it comes ot other weapon systems.
     

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