Incisive assessment of the Panther - explains a lot

Discussion in 'Command Ops Series' started by Keydet, Aug 1, 2020 at 9:20 AM.

  1. Keydet

    Keydet Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    13
    A close examination of operational range (distances) per fuel tank load for all vehicles reveals an offensive supporting class and a defensive supporting class of combat vehicles. The analysis at this link gives the deep background why the Panther, perhaps unintentionally, fell into the defensive class. (teaser - not because of fuel consumption rates) The pitch comes together in the end.

    Relevant game design point (back to the operating range per full fuel tank): Logistics modeling in a game ought to retain the impact of offensive supporting operating ranges and non-offensive supporting operating ranges. Removing the impact of non-offensive supporting operating ranges removes a major German disadvantage.
     
  2. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    71
    One problem with such reviews is that they are somewhere between halfway ambitious historical information and sloppy tank p0rn for gamers.

    For instance, the english translation (made by the creator of the video) of the Spielberger quote (06:40 in the video) is not accurate. As I understand it, Spielberger quotes the French analysis from 1947, where the German excerpt from the Motorbuch press clearly uses the word "soll", which would translate to: "The real weak spot of the Panther is the final drive, which is too weak and (which) IS SAID TO ("soll") have an average life span of 150 km."
    The word "soll" (literally = "shall", translating to "is said to" or "is reputed to be") indicates hearsay and that the life span hasn't actually been tested by the French. The guy omits the word in the English translation of the quote, so that's either sloppy method or intent.

    The French info could originate from POW reports, a number of German documents, like single unit reports or even early assessments from the Replacement Army (testing office), but it's pretty obvious that this bit of info was not gathered by actually testing the long distance/long term performance. The video's narrative creates the false impression that the quote was part of an actual (French) test report.

    Back then, and in order to get the big/accurate picture, the French would have had to get a hold of all unit reports (units were supposed to send in reports about their tanks' reliability and/or shortcomings frequently) or employ a sufficient number of sample Panthers from different phases of the war (early models vs late 1944 models vs say March 1945 models) to get an idea about the different revisions' actual life spans and parts quality.

    Just like the Russians on the T-34, the Germans managed to solve a number of reliability issues on the Panther somewhere between March and summer 1944, means around the same time as the Russians. In contrast, quite a few Bergepanther managed to reach life spans of 1,500 - 4,000 km without engine change or major overhaul (see "Panther" Thomas Anderson).
    So the conclusions drawn in the video are not totally wrong, but are - in vital sections - utterly inaccurate, where faulty translations (German to English) and generalizing statements block the path to a thorough analysis.
    Just to be clear, the Panther was a bug-ridden vehicle, but the Germans managed to overcome some of its design and manufacturing flaws, at least.
    Other tanks, like the Pz.IV etc. experienced problems with their final drives, too, and Russian T-34 tanks did not reach those 2,000-km(plus) lifespans before mid- or late 1944, they could be as low as 300 km between 1942 and February 1944.
    For German tanks, there are lots of contradicting German reports out there, which makes a "deep background" analysis very difficult, and unsuitable for a YT "analysis". Even historians have quite some disputes if it comes to accurate numbers or the accurate assessment of the part quality.

    Re operational range:
    I am not sure what you are suggesting here. In general, with the scope (map sizes) in CommandOps, the operational range of say Tiger II or Panther tanks won't matter, as the historical range outranges the largest map in the game. On roads, and fuel-wise, the Panther's travel range was ~200 km. In practice, German heavy tanks and Panther tanks often didn't travel more than 30-80 kilometers, before they were put back on train cars and shipped to the next engagement zone.
     
    #2 GoodGuy, Aug 1, 2020 at 2:09 PM
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020 at 2:52 PM
  3. Keydet

    Keydet Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    13
    What I was getting at is there is an hours of operation fuel factor setting in the estab maker. This is used to drive the basic load supply requirement for each estab. The default is 12. All units for all sides which receive 100% start or resupply have enough fuel for uninterrupted all road movement for 12 hours, regardless of the size of the fuel tanks. (All but one of the estabs sticks with the default. The exception is Knock on All Doors.) This robs units with greater hours of operation range such as armored cars. It mitigates a German disadvantage in operating range and it equalizes the sides.

    CO2 capabilities for the principal German tanks are:
    fuel - capacity|Normal Rd Speed Kph | Rd |Fuel Usage l/h |Road Range km |Fuel Range hrs
    PzKfw IV Ausf J 470 27 64 279 7.34
    PzKfw V Ausf G 730 33 138 243 5.29
    PzKfw VI Ausf E 534 27 144 140 3.71
    PzKfw VI Ausf B 860 27 232 140 3.71

    Mk IV and most of the Allied tanks have about 7 hours of operation per full tank. Mk V 2 hours less. Mk VI's about half of the MkIV.

    The maps are big enough to matter. For instance the Sud_Grosse map for Knock on Doors is 47 km x 31 km. Take a scenatio stipped of untis and run a tank platoon "until" for 12 hours and see if you get the road range the math calculates. Recall post war remarks by Germans note they were getting in the Ardennes half the road range.

    (hence defensive class of system).
    I don't think Pieper et al had any plans to use rail lines to get to the Meuse and beyond.
     
  4. jimcarravallah

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    70
    I think the confusion is over the capabilities of platforms as designed, which is limited to onboard fuel capacity, and defining an operating tempo (OPTEMPO) period available in the game -- in the case of CO2's design, the time between regularly scheduled resupply pulses (nominally at 0600 and 1800 each day).

    When we were planning fuel consumption for combat units, we'd use the aggregate onboard fuel capacity for a platform and divide that into the OPTEMPO period, arriving at an amount of fuel the combat unit must have readily available to operate between supply pulses.

    What wasn't in each platform's fuel tank at the start of a supply pulse was supplemented with added fuel carrying equipment, anything from jerrycans fastened to the exterior of the platform to fuel tanker trucks and trailers that would travel at the same pace as the combat platforms and be available to perform ad hoc refueling events during the 12-hour OPTEMPO period to assure the combat unit operated effectively without having to stop and wait for the next regularly-scheduled supply pulse..

    To truly model combat logistics, the 12-hour calculation in the Estab should be used to determine the total combat load for the combat unit whether that load is hauled directly by the unit's platforms, or brought along with support items such as trucks and trailers.

    In essence, the 12-hour limitation doesn't matter for combat purposes because any unit can demand and receive "emergency resupply" at random between the OPTEMPO pulses.
     
  5. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    71
    It doesn't, as Jim explained.

    I only see a disadvantage where German heavy armor had a somewhat lower range - due to their weights and higher fuel consumption - if compared to German medium tanks.
    A Pz.IV had a range (road) of around 190-200 km, a Panther had a range of 200 km, a Tiger II had a range of 170 km.
    The cruising range of the Sherman tank ranged from 161 km to 240 km, depending on variant.
    So I am not sure what you are suggesting there.

    Many of the vehicles in the start lineup started with like 60% (max) fuel, or punctually even with only 50%. But that was due to a logistical problem, the Germans had in fact piled up enough consumption units to support X days of (motorized) offensive operations in the Ardennes, but they then faced increasing difficulties when the offensive was underway, particularly when they tried to haul these quantities in a timely manner from the right river bank (of the Rhine) to the Eifel and then to the Ardennes region, mainly because a short thaw period kicked in, where then the muddy terrain increasingly wore off the tansport vehicle pool, so that even horse-drawn vehicles had to be used for fuel transports. This slowed down fuel distribution, obviously. When the low temperatures kicked in again, the damage was done already, the transport pool could not be sufficiently repaired (let alone replaced).

    The stocks on the right river bank had been built by collecting/hoarding fuel during the preceding months and by taking away fuel from units on the EF. The Germans also searched all civilian gas stations for idle fuel. Since the fuel production crippled around November 1944, the Germans had to distribute the fuel that was circulating right before the offensive started somewhat evenly, as other units (eg. in the Netherlands and way south of the Ardennes theater) needed some fuel for their ooperations that were meant as distraction or supportive actions for the Ardennes offensive, too.

    They also had to conduct the preparative fuel transports (to the Eifel region by train) at night, because the ever increasing Allied air offensive made daylight railway operation pretty difficult, and because they had to keep a low profile, in order not to give away the fact that they were trying to mount a major offensive, so that was another reason for the bad fuel situation right at the FUPs. Additional problem: they also had to repair the ongoing damages - inflicted on the railway network during Allied daylight raids - at night, as well. This reduced the network's capacity quite a bit.
    The December offensive also conincided with the beginning general collapse of the railway network.

    I outlined the general doctrine for relocation. It's pretty obvious that attacking German tanks traveled relatively large distances in 1941, 1942 and even partially in 1944 (Ardennes). But since tank units were increasingly used as firebrigades and quick response forces, starting around 1942, fast relocation by train became increasingly important. The actual tank operations were then often conducted within a radius of way below 100 km, where then the distance from the railway station to the FUP may have often amounted to 20-30 km only.
     
    #5 GoodGuy, Aug 2, 2020 at 11:00 AM
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2020 at 11:21 AM
  6. Keydet

    Keydet Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2015
    Messages:
    648
    Likes Received:
    13
    Why is the fuel factor setting in the estab editor at all? How is it that a Tiger unit, as an example, carries 3+ fuel tanks loads of fuel with out any fuel trucks in the unit, somehow all shielded within the Tigers (not in Jerry cans strapped all over the tanks - can you imagine?) and the Tigers never have to stop to refill the fuel tanks in the 12 hours the fuel will last? Then suddenly in the 12 hours cycle the Tigers do have to stop to refuel? Why can't the fuel beam into the Tigers tanks just like it's done during the 12 hours?
     
  7. jimcarravallah

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    70
    loaded M1.jpg M1Desert Storm.jpg
     
    Keydet likes this.
  8. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    71
    Parts of the fuel traveled behind the tank units. For every day (or time frame defined by the planners) a certain fuel allowance was needed to maintain operational readiness. For this, say 3 consumption units had to be kept available for the initial phase of a given operation. No. 1 would be in the tank, a full fuel tank. No. 2 was kept in the supply train following the combat vehicles and No. 3 was kept at the FUP/field depot, which followed the supply train in certain intervals.
    Since neither the supply train, nor the transport and storage means at the depot are rendered, such measures have to be abstracted, somehow.
    Technically, and historically, the probability that the 3rd and 4th consumption unit did not reach the tank unit in time was relatively high, especially when the units covered large distances (at max. speeds), or when the supply roads were contested or in bad shape.
    The operational plan for the Ardennes offensive specified that - after consumption of the units hoarded at the right river bank - the armored spearheads had to live off captured fuel. The Germans really counted on capturing the large Allied fuel storage in Liège. The Allies killed that idea, they just burned the stocks. The Germans just captured a few small depots and kept struggling to get the remaining fuel from the Rhine area to the Ardennes region.
    In France, 1940, and during the intial phase of Barbarossa in 1941, they had to employ a transport regiment, an armada of trucks, to cover the fuel demand of the armored spearheads.
    The game mechanics don't render this.
     
    #8 GoodGuy, Aug 3, 2020 at 1:17 AM
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020 at 1:34 AM
  9. jimcarravallah

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    70
    The abstraction of the supply train is the emergency resupply system. It's more complicated than portraying the construct of the train, but pretty much ends up with the constraints combat units faced as they penetrated into enemy territory, or were surrounded by attacking enemies who jeopardized the safety of the train.
     
  10. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    71
    Yes, you don't have to tell me. :)
    I agree with what you posted so far, I just tried to explain the historical logistics background to Keydet.

    A thought comes to my mind, though:
    In general, and in theory, a tank should be able to cross say a 47-km map 3 or 4 times, using favorable roads and moving at cruise speed, without (emergency) resupply.

    EDIT: Historically, once a tank was cut off from resupplies, or once the tank was too far ahead, the tank could still move until it ran out of fuel (many tank units kept a small reserve to be able to adjust positions when parked/waiting for resupplies) and it then had to wait for resupplies. Such holdups (from 1 hr to a full day or even longer) were quite common, especially after the initial push, say on Dday+2, as the distance to the depots increased during a push, so that halfway timely access could only be guaranteed for the 2nd and the 3rd consumption unit.

    In the game, supplies will usually reach a given vehicle, no matter how deep/long the corridor is, especially if the enemy doesn't touch the corridor, then the supply trucks are assumed to be able to follow and find the vehicle, no matter what terrain, what weather conditions or what distances are involved. For instance, the number of trucks for refueling in a Panzer division was limited. When a sub-unit was way out of position, then the main group received the resupplies first, most likely.

    That said, the emergency supplies kick in a bit too often, imho. All sides suffered of supply shortages at various stages in the war, and for (slightly) different reasons. The Russians had a lack of transport vehicles (for the troops) in 1942 and 1943, but (afaik) also suffered of an initial lack of tankers, the Western Allies overextended their supply lines during their push through France, the Germans had a terrible lack of transports in North Africa, so that tank units ended up without fuel for up to 8-24 hrs in the desert, and they suffered a first major fuel shortage (distribution problem) in 1942 in Russia already, when an entire Tank Corps was immobilized for 48 hrs.
    EDIT2: And the Italians faced the worst conditions, as the Germans in North Africa - in the main - denied to share transport capacities and as they turned out to be quite miserable when it came to sharing fuel. It was quite common (at least in some Italian units) that resupplies then had to be hauled with mule-drawn carriages, some of the time even the fuel.
    In order to maintain convoy escort capacity in the Mediterranean, the Italians had to empty their capital ships and distribute the fuel to the destroyers that were escorting the convoys, after Hitler explicitly forbade to hand out fuel to the Italian Navy.
    Anyway, I tend to think that the emergency supply system is a tick too generous. :)
     
    #10 GoodGuy, Aug 3, 2020 at 7:32 AM
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020 at 10:28 AM
  11. jimcarravallah

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    70
    What you say about fuel in a real combat zone is true.

    Keydet's scenario pack (Knock on All Doors) is more likely the only one in the game system where fuel constraints seriously impact operations, as they actually did in Wacht Am Rhein, which, as you indicated, relied on seizure of allied fuel resources to complete the operation. I think fuel constraints will be more impactful on the future Eastern Front combat, particularly as the German forces extend their supply lines to penetrate deep into Russia.

    In most other instances at this stage of the game's scenario development, the driving force behind emergency resupply requests is ammo consumption. While the "emergency resupply" emulates the availability of a "supply train" I don't believe actual supply trains allowed for the undisciplined firing of weapons without suffering significant decline in combat power at some point during their combat deployment period.. Technically, unless initially prepared for high intensity operations, the train was stocked with sufficient basics, fuel, and ammo for a 3-day pulse of independent combat including maneuver, combat, and defense periods.

    Those supply constraints had to be considered as units were ordered into ad hoc combat during an operation, for example assigning units with a high supply level offensive tactics on the battlefield while allowing stressed units with low supply to recover and replenish in a defensive role.
     
  12. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    71
    For fuel supply calculations, the Wehrmacht worked with the "Verbrauchssatz" (consumption unit), where 1 unit amounted to a given unit's/vehicle's fuel consumption over a distance of 100 km. For instance, a Panzer division's supply train was supposed to carry/keep around (as in "nearby") 4 consumption units. In practice, the divisional (fuel) unit levels often fell below. Terrain, type of tasks, weather conditions and enemy movement/interaction highly influenced the daily fuel demand and could bring down the fuel levels quickly, ofc.

    This means, that all consumption units could be gone within a day or a day and a half in unfavorable terrain, eg during the Russian "rasputitsa", obviously.

    Another problem: Divisions (in general) didn't establish/maintain fixed bases/depots, as it used to be depicted in earlier instances of the game. Technically, the ordered amount of available consumption units had to be kept on the supply train elements. I am guessing that in practice the 2nd consumption unit for the 1st resupply run was held on the divisions' (they had a number of light columns), the Regiments' (light columns) and the Bns' (they had supply Coys) supply vehicles, basically, which means they were kept mobile, depending on the type of supply. The 3rd unit might have been temporarily dropped off or parked near the FUP, and I wouldn't rule out that parts of the 4th unit were parked at or near the divisional or the regimental CP, but what I called field depot in a previous post, usually consisted of a limited number of jerry cans and ammo boxes piled up on a few trucks or on the ground, as a division's fuel used to be kept mobile.

    The real bases/depots were established at the Army level, only. The Army also maintained huge fuel, ammo and all sorts of other depots (eg. boats and pontoon-bridge elements for engineers, etc.). The Army then established fuel points in the divisional area where either single vehicles could fill their tanks or where the dedicated fuel columns of the units could pick up their total fuel requirement at once.
    The regimental supply officers usually combined the supply columns of the Bns and the Coys for the food and water supply, while the regimental light columns were usually employed by the quartermasters of the divisions - to haul ammunition.
    Corps, in turn, were only command entities, they were not involved in supply distribution and they didn't establish bases either.

    Army ammunition depots: Ammo was delivered to and then stored in the Army depots, but were - on very rare occations - also delivered to branch depots maintained by few divisions.
    In general, either the Army's supply columns pushed the ammo to the divisional distribution point, or the division's quartermaster (using the regimental columns) drew the ammo from the Army depot. The division's ammo distribution point was rather a transit area than a real depot, in most instances. In quite a few units, the regimental columns were particular weak or understrength, where then the divisional train had to push ammo to the Bns or where the Bns had to pull ammo from the division.

    Interesting detail: (IIRC) the stocks the Germans managed to hoard on the right river bank for the Ardennes offensive amounted to 1.5 consumption units, according to the official US Army History. If I am not mistaken, the number included/considered all participating units, as well as their motorized supply pool.
     
    #12 GoodGuy, Aug 3, 2020 at 1:49 PM
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2020 at 2:34 PM
  13. jimcarravallah

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    70
    The terms are different, but the principles were the same.

    Basically the calculations took into account hours of operation and hours of rest during a 3-day pulse and demands were stratified by the type of OPTEMPO expected during the hours of operation, standard consumption being a specific amount of fuel and ammo for typical mixed combat operations, more fuel and relatively less ammunition for movement operations, more ammo and less fuel during defensive operations, and more fuel and more ammo during offensive combat operations.

    Either the battalion combat loads were supplemented with added vehicles and supplies drawn ahead of time from brigade and above supply support entities prior to the start of an operation or planned for delivery to be delivered to pre-positioned resupply points along the battalion's anticipated path of operation.
     
  14. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    71
    Armored Force Field Manual FM 17-50 Logistics, Nov. 1942, pages 61/62 specifies:
    "Fuel and lubricant supply points are established by the army on recommendation of G-4. Since there are no organic division fuel and lubricant vehicles, these supply points must be within 35 miles of the most distant unit service parks. The location of these supply points are announced in division orders.
    b. Prior to combat, all vehicle tanks are filled from unit fuel and lubricant sections.
    All vehicles in the division (except motorcycles) carry fuel for at least 100 miles of operation in their fuel tanks. Extra fuel for motorcycles required for 100 miles operation is carried in the vehicles of the unit to which the motorcycle is assigned. Experience has proved that, regardless of the number of miles traveled by the division, it will consume, in active operations, approximately 100 miles of fuel and lubricants daily. Fuel for another 100 miles of operation is carried in the unit fuel and lubricant sections. It will require two and a half quartermaster truck companies to transport fuel for an additional 100 miles of normal operation. This support from army is essential for protracted operations
    ."

    So, if I interpret this right, then the US Army's fuel supply was handled in a similar way, means the fuel was handled by the Army, offered at distribution points and then picked up by the Division (or mostly by its subunits), but then rather kept mobile on the cargo space of its subunits' fuel sections, as well. The FM also displays that a US Armor division was supposed to keep fuel for 200 miles (321 km) at hand (where the US Army determined that these would support 2 days of operations), while a German tank division had to keep 4 consumption units (400 km) available.
    It also shows that a US Armored Division depended on Army support if it was ordered to pick up the fuel quantities for a full 3rd day of operations in advance.

    I am not sure if the current game scenarios still hold divisional bases.... but if so, then the max. (fuel) quantities stocked in there may exceed the historical capabilities, as - at least - US and German divisions didn't operate real divisional fuel depots, they just used (Germans) or operated (US) transit dumps (in the middle of the woods, near a road or railroad line, in villages, etc.). Also, the deployment time (to pick up fuel distribution to the Bns/coys again, after a div base was moved) in the game may not reflect the (rather) fast deployment and relocation times of such transit fuel dumps.
    Furthermore, at least in the German Army, the divisional supply trains were not big enough to hold/process the supply of all subunits (rgt,Bn, coy), so the subunits needed to hold most of the supplies (I'd say that the FM indicates that the US divisions had to operate in a similar way).

    Fuel-dumps-FM17-50.jpg

    I also think a change would enhance realism and add new tactical possibilities:
    If a fuel and lubricant supply point (the FM outlines that the "F&L Supply point" consisted in fact of the tank wagons <- rail, and the assigned road tanker that was then filled and moved to the nearest F&L dump, which in turn was operated by the quartermaster, who then organized the refilling -> drums and cans) and F&L dump would be rendered as new type of units, then such units could be captured and its stocks used by the enemy (or destroyed). Historically, the US supply points just had a very small MP detachment, and the dumps a rather small security detachment (if at all, since the QM had no troops).
    During the Ardennes offensive, the Germans captured a number of F&L dumps, for instance, which enabled them to keep moving for a bit at least.
    Detaching the ammunition and food supply from the fuel distribution would also create a less generous (thus more realistic) fuel system, imho. If then the fuel deliveries to the supply points would have to stick to railroad lines and if the actual fuel (or ammo) trains would be rendered, then the fuel logistics part of the game would come close to military-grade realism, imho, and that would surely trigger interest of every academy instructor.
    In WWII, with the increase of mobile warfare, identifying supply lines, interrupting or slowing down the flow of supplies and destructing supply capacities were put on high priority. Supply interdiction and supply destruction became tasks/goals. Currently, the game does not allow to conduct specific operations against enemy supply branches. It's not possible to conduct operations designed to reduce the enemy's supply vehicle pool (employing recon and punctual strikes), since the pool is not rendered. Proper recon isn't possible yet, either.
     
    #14 GoodGuy, Aug 4, 2020 at 1:34 AM
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020 at 2:35 AM
  15. jimcarravallah

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2014
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    70


    It may be serendipity, but the "base" concept in the game.reflects this, with a major depot at the division level, and subordinate depots assigned to each regiment or brigade. In a nominal 3-regiment or 3 brigade division construct, you end up with four fuel supply points on the map for every division.

    it also shows where the "base" concept distorts the real logistics system, because the "trucks" that haul supplies from each base to a combat unit are actually assigned to the combat unit and dispatched for supply replenishment runs. Under the CO2 "base" concept all logistics and support items are bundled at the "base" instead of being distributed among the maneuver units.

    It's in this that I have a disagreement with the "emergency resupply" concept, because those trucks used in supply runs actually are required for other transport operations -- particularly towing equipment, and transporting troops at the same time they're diverted to run emergency supply missions.

    it's because of this that I believe the "emergency supply" runs should penalize a unit which overuses them by increasing fatigue at the "base" and reducing it's capability to respond to normal operations in the same way combat units are degraded by fatigue if forced to fight without rest for too long.

    This contradicts my earlier statement that a unit would operate independently with 3-day's worth of supply. Our planning in the late 1990s and early 2000s focused on a 3-day independent mission. I assumed at that time the 3-day mission was conceived during WWII, but it actually may be a response to WWII lessons learned and the change in combat concept to increase the ability to maneuver or fight as an independent cadre against guerilla operations.

    The 100-miles is what I referred to as a component of OPTEMPO. I don't think the mileage per day has changed in the raw planning, but it gets refined when developing planning packages based on different OPTEMPO combinations of attack, maneuver, and defense. These are all driven by the Army doctrine developers, and other than receiving the reports of their desires on how they wanted to conduct combat, we had little to do with refining them until we determined the burden the desire put on the logistics system..

    Yes.

    As I explained earlier, this all gets aggregated at the "base" which under the game construct are assigned one to each command echelon above battalion. The "regimental base" contains all the vehicles and personnel normally assigned quartermaster and ordnance duties at lower echelons. Division, Corps and Army bases contain all the vehicles and personnel normally assigned at the echelon.

    In reality, there were several "base" locations at regiment and above, including those one handling communications, command / control, those handling supply, those handling maintenance, and those handling medical and administrative matters.

    The "fuel dump" concept more or less mimics reality in the field. because (I believe) quartermaster field instructions call for at least three fuel supply points in a division area of operation.

    In designing the game, some compromises were made to reduce the volume of units on the game map, and I believe the aggregate "base" concept at regiment and above reflects that effort.

    As an aside, my career with the Army included a stint as a technical advisor supporting the development of a "realistic" field simulation of logistics dynamics to be used in conjunction with combat training simulations the Army was purchasing.

    That's what got me interested in this game when I found it.

    I'd love to see a more realistic logistics system incorporated into the game, but realize including every nuance of the logistics system in a realistic combat simulation requires a lot more programming time than the development team has available and computing power well beyond the capabilities of a standalone PC. Some of my recommendations have been adopted in updates and others, particularly the discussion of the "stress" on the logistics system caused by "emergency resupply" are still in discussion.
     
  16. GoodGuy

    GoodGuy Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    71
    While I agree with what you wrote in the 1st paragraph, and while I have doubts regarding the emergency supplies as well, I am not sure if the rest of the 2nd paragraph is correct.
    I am not familiar with details of the US supply Bn concept, but the supply columns of a German division (and its subunits) should not be confused with the vehicle pool of the combat elements.

    a) tow vehicles didn't necessarily have cargo space (eg. Kettenkrad to tow 37mm AT guns, 1t halftracks with seats for AT gun crews pulling AT guns) and were not meant for supply duties, in general
    b) the vehicles of the supply columns were the prime supply movers
    c) required strength sheets (KStN) usually carried a supply section, where - in addition to the combat elements' tow, transport and combat vehicles - the supply vehicles were listed/specified
    d) F&L were pulled with dedicated fuel trucks, means select vehicles from the supply columns, specified in the KStN; example: a motorized mountain AT platoon had 2 trucks listed in its supply train, 1 for F&L and 1 truck to hold the field kitchen
    d) priority was given to ammunition, which was drawn by the regimental light columns combined by the div's QM, or (with independent Bns) by the light columns of the Bns
    f) food and water were pushed to issue points behind the divisions by the Army columns, and then pulled by the div's subunits
    g) only when no transport tasks were scheduled or when no transport vehicle readiness was required/ordered, then parts of the vehicle pool of the combat elements could jump in (afaik: with the focous on ammunition, lower classes - eg. food and water - had low priority), eg. in preparation of a major offensive
    h) the transport truck pool of a motorized infantry formation was parked in a secure area until the troops had finished the task or until they were pulled back from the area/front; on fixed fronts, parts of the pool were probably tasked with other duties, but the units tried to save resources (fuel) and transport capacity, since there was a general lack of transport vehicles (due to the insufficient production output) and since Germany's oil production couldn't meet the military demand.

    The operational ranges of combat vehicles increased after the war. So technical progress may be another reason. The multifuel and Diesel engines that came up after the war improved the ranges quite a bit, fuel tanks grew in size, too. A Leo 1 had a cruise range of 560 km and the Leo 2 has a cruise range of 500 km. Being able to operate in the Fulda gap, in North Germany or in Iraq's deserts for 3 days has quite some merits. I am sure it's rather based on Cold War thinking than on an adaption to guerilla warfare.

    In Iraq 1991, on the morning of 27 February, the 1st and 3rd Arm Div were almost out of fuel, and that was even before the end of these 100 hours of ground/armored combat. Schwarzkopf would have had to halt the advance to refill the FOBs, if the ceasefire wouldn't have been declared the following night. The advance was so fast, that the tanks and Bradleys had outdistanced the supply trucks. As a quick fix helicopters had started to haul large fuel tanks and ammo pallets, but they ate up the fuel "as fast as they delivered it", as the US Army Center of Military History put it in one of their publications.
    The tanks had dashed 100 miles north and then 50 miles east, mostly on desert terrain, not on roads or tracks. On other terrain, say on central or Eastern Europe's lowlands (Poland, Baltics), the daily mileage would be way higher, most likely, so I could imagine that the 100-miles reference was updated at one point.
     
    #16 GoodGuy, Aug 4, 2020 at 1:46 PM
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020 at 2:25 PM

Share This Page