Squad level firepower comparisons

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Brady
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 12 Oct 2021 15:31

The 7.5 cm infantry guns we see hear, and the 8 cm Mortars are presumed to be the,

7.5 cm leichtes Infanteriegeschütz 18

8 cm Granatwerfer 34


Image

I ask in part because I am still trying to find out how the Kz 8 cm GrW 42 replaced the 5 cm Granatwerfer 36 or if it actually did at the Platoon level, or if the 5 cm was simply pulled from front line units.

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 12 Oct 2021 20:23

yantaylor wrote:
11 Oct 2021 20:26
Thanks for clearing that up Gary, the source by Forty never really sat well will me, why would they give them Boys, I will amend my site and change them to PIATs.
An American friend warned me about George Forty years ago, he reckoned that his US Army handbook was full of errors, but I thought it was sound, and now this error in the British handbook.

Ian
Sorry, I wasn't intending to have a pop at the old British Army Handbook. It was derived from the US Army Technical Manual TM 30-410 on British Forces, and from the Summaries given in Joslen, with a large sprinkling of extracts from various British pamphlets and manuals. Thought I'd double back and check, and it doesn't actually caption the Mortar Platoon org as 1944, but it is in the run of diagrams for that period. The bigger flaw is that the diagram for the Infantry Battalion omits "D" Company, while the original pamphlet it's taken from shows four Rifle Companies. And it gets the Pioneer Platoon strength wrong...

All right it's not the best book but for a long time it was the ONLY book on British Army org so I've still got my copy.

Gary

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 12 Oct 2021 20:36

Re the German mortars query, the 5-cm was originally allocated one per Rifle Platoon. There were some Divisions that had no mortars (5-cm or 8-cm) in the 1939-40 campaigns, but that was the basic premise for its use. The 5-cm was withdrawn from Infantry Regiments during 1943, but I understand it was a slow process. The aim was to delete the Platoon level 5-cm and give the Rifle Companies two 8-cm mortars each, with the MG Company switching to a Platoon of 12-cm mortars instead. There were still 5-cm mortars in use into 1944, I think a few were found with units in Western Europe prior to Normandy.

The 'short' 8-cm wasn't a direct replacement for the 5-cm; I do recall repeating the suggestion I'd seen that it may have been intended for the 8-cm tube in the Rifle Company, however I've not really seen anything to back that up over the years. It may have been used in Parachute units on that same basis, with Rifle Companies, while their MG Companies had the usual 8-cm.

Gary

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 13 Oct 2021 15:15

A few Question's,

The Blind Round is that some kind of Proto Flash Bang ?

Image

So Below there are Two HMG's in each HW Platoon Correct ?
Each HMG is maned by a 5 man team
And apart from the two crewmen who are carrying the gun and Base and the leader (MP), They have Just rifles No grenade launcher or Singles pistole ?
Presumably it would a MG 34/42

Image


The Light MG's are M1919A4's ?

Image

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 14 Oct 2021 14:56

I don't think I could find anything detailed on the 'blind' rifle grenade when I was looking for it a while ago. The US manual on German Forces (TM-E 30-451) details a lot of the rifle grenades but doesn't include Blendgranate. Of course searching now I can find a page on it!

http://michaelhiske.de/Allierte/USA/GCW ... /01J06.htm

It seems to be more of a smoke grenade than a 'blinding' grenade then (one more thing to correct when I get round to it...)

For the Volks Grenadier Heavy Weapons Company snippet, it was authorised two Heavy MG Platoons, each of four guns (in two Groups of two guns each). The KAN is available for this unit (on germandocsinrussia) and lists 10 rifle grenade launchers, including one in each Heavy MG Group. There's also one signal pistol per Platoon and Company HQ. The MG was on paper the MG42 but obviously an MG34 could be subbed.

Re the US Inf Weapons Platoon, the light machine gun, .30-cal, was the M1919A4 or A6.

Gary

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by kfbr392 » 14 Oct 2021 21:12

Brady wrote:
13 Oct 2021 15:15
The Blind Round is that some kind of Proto Flash Bang ?

from lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de article on hand grenades:
Ähnliche Wirkung hatten die 1943 eingeführten Blendkörper. Das zuerst eingeführte Muster BK 1H war mit F-Stoff, wie das Titantetrachlond bezeichnet wurde, gefüllt, wog 0,37 kg und war mit seinem Durchmesser von 60 mm und 150 mm Länge etwas unhandlich. Dieser Blendkörper wurde, nachdem 225 200 Stück produziert waren, durch den BK 2H ersetzt.

Hier hatte man in einer 128 mm hohen Glasflasche, die 0,29 kg einer Mischung aus Titantetrachlorid/Siliziumtetrachlorid enthielt, als Gefrierschutz ein Reagenzglas mit 36 g Calciumchlorid eingesetzt, das mit einer Kittscheibe abgedeckt war. Wenn dieser 0,4 kg schwere Körper gegen ein Fahrzeug geworden wurde, erzielte man nicht nur eine Blendwirkung, sondern es bildete sich eine Nebelwolke, deren Reizwirkung die Besatzung zum Aussteigen zwingen sollte.

via google translate:
The blinding grenade introduced in 1943 had a similar effect. The first introduced sample BK 1H was filled with F-material, as the titanium tetrachloride was called, weighed 0.37 kg and was somewhat unwieldy with its diameter of 60 mm and 150 mm length. This blind body was replaced by the BK 2H after 225,200 units were produced.

Here, a glas tube with 36 g calcium chloride with a putty washer was used in a 128 mm high glass bottle that detected 0.29 kg of a mixture of titanium tetrachloride / silicon tetrachloride as anti-freeze protection. If this 0.4 kg body was hit against a vehicle, not only was a dazzling effect achieved, but a cloud of fog formed, the irritating effect of which was intended to force the crew to get out.

So Blendgranate had flash + bang + fog + lachrymatory effect. It was to be used offensively, especially against vehicles, temporarily blocking their view to gain a brief tactical advantage.

As opposed to the regular and earlier Nebelgranate, which only had slowly released fog (German: Nebel) and was used to conceal German positions.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 14 Oct 2021 23:35

Thanks guy’s

So it was sort of like a poor man’s white phosphorus ?

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by akdavis » 15 Oct 2021 01:38

Brady wrote:
13 Oct 2021 15:15

They have Just rifles No grenade launcher ?
Gary can correct me, but the original documents these tables are based on are, with a few exceptions, silent on the allocation of grenade launchers for rifles, i.e. no specific distinction is made between a Kar98k with a grenade launcher and one without (presumably because it is equipment that could be used on any rifle). The exceptions are when the "role" of the soldier as a grenadier is carved because of a structural distinction in the unit's org, e.g. the dedicated "Schützen für Gewehrgranatgerät" called for on paper in the Volksgrenadier platoon HQ, (but still their weapon in the TO&E tables is listed as a standard rifle).

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by kfbr392 » 15 Oct 2021 08:08

Gary Kennedy wrote:
12 Oct 2021 20:36
The 'short' 8-cm wasn't a direct replacement for the 5-cm; I do recall repeating the suggestion I'd seen that it may have been intended for the 8-cm tube in the Rifle Company, however I've not really seen anything to back that up over the years. It may have been used in Parachute units on that same basis, with Rifle Companies, while their MG Companies had the usual 8-cm.
To add to this:

the kz 8cm GrW 42 "Stummelwerfer" was developed from 1940 for Fallschirmjäger use. The idea was to save weight. The first 55 pieces were accepted in January 1943. Production was short lived, however, most likely because of the disappointing range of 1100m (as opposed to 2400m for the regular 8cm GrW 34, which was also found to be too little as early as 1940; only in December 1944 was the range of the GrW 34 extended to 4400m by using different ammo - 8cm WGr.42 Perlitguss mit Ladung 1-6 plus Sonderladung - and a new more sturdy yet lighter base plate as well as a 57mm longer barrel and simplified bipod; this mortar was called 8cm GrW 34/1). 1591 8cm GrW 42 were built; such low quantities would only have permitted it to be issued to a few select units. It may have been the plan in 1940/1941 to have it replace the 5cm GrW 36, but this never happened. Instead, the Gewehrgranatgerät was introduced in June 1942 and replaced the 5cm GrW 36 at the company level.

I have never seen a KStN mention the 8cm GrW 42 explicitly. If anyone has that, please share.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 15 Oct 2021 17:30

Hello Matthias,

I had a check back and can find in my stuff just a single mention of what seems to be the short 8-cm mortar. This is on the Luftwaffe KStN 8121 dated 01 May 1944, kindly sent to me by Piet Duits a very long time ago...It is the KStN for the Fallschirmjager Kompanie, and on the equipment section it lists three "m.Granatwerfer (8 cm) verkürzt". The mortars in the MG Kompanie are described as "m.Granatwerfer (8 cm)" only.

Gary

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 15 Oct 2021 18:05

akdavis wrote:
15 Oct 2021 01:38
Brady wrote:
13 Oct 2021 15:15

They have Just rifles No grenade launcher ?
Gary can correct me, but the original documents these tables are based on are, with a few exceptions, silent on the allocation of grenade launchers for rifles, i.e. no specific distinction is made between a Kar98k with a grenade launcher and one without (presumably because it is equipment that could be used on any rifle). The exceptions are when the "role" of the soldier as a grenadier is carved because of a structural distinction in the unit's org, e.g. the dedicated "Schützen für Gewehrgranatgerät" called for on paper in the Volksgrenadier platoon HQ, (but still their weapon in the TO&E tables is listed as a standard rifle).
Yes, grenade launchers are somewhat 'invisible' items on German KStN, and also on US T/Os. For German Army research you ideally need the KAN that accompanies the KStN, and shows all manner of interesting items, including signals equipment (both wireless and line), basic ammunition and munition allowances, and latterly rifle grenade launchers. There are a few Divisional summaries in the www.sturmpanzer.net files that show grenade launchers for the Type44 and Type45 Divisions. These just give a total for the relevant KStN and don't give an allocation with the unit involved; for that you need the KAN, which will say along the lines of 'one per Gruppe and one for HQ' for example. There was a thread on KAN a while back (I think), but sadly there are not many left it seems. The Volks Grenadier Regiment KAN are on germandocsinrussia.

https://wwii.germandocsinrussia.org/de/ ... rid/zoom/1

Similar applies to the US Army and USMC. You can spot the users of rifles grenade launchers on the 1942 T/Os, because they are armed with M1903 rifles (and this is what gave rise to the idea of a 'sniper' with a Springfield in every US Rifle Squad). Once the M7 (for the M1 rifle) and the M8 (for the M1 carbine) appear, they are only shown under the Equipment portion of the Table of Organization and Equipment documentation. These were issued as two separate items initially before being combined during 1943 to create the now universally referred to TO&E :) .

The Equipment pages also show the other good stuff, like radio and line equipment, but not ammunition. While the Organization section of a T/O & E might only run to four or five pages, the Equipment section can be a dozen more pages long, especially for an Ordnance or Signal unit that had a lot of special kit authorised. When you're ordering this stuff at $0.50 a page, plus research costs if you're dealing with an archive, that adds up, so it can cost a bit to find out how many M7 and M8 launchers an Ordnance Light Maintenance Company was allowed! As a result I only have a few TEs to go with the TOs that interested me.

The USMC is even more opaque, in that their TEs look to have been mostly destroyed after the war. The TE for the May 1945 Rifle Company gives figures for M7 and M8 launchers (19 and 25 respectively) but no suggested distribution, and these figures don't match with the personnel identified in the manual on the handling of the Marine Rifle Squad. Apparently there are additional allowances specified in "OSB No. B-21-1" for the M7 and "OSB No. B-28-1" for the M8. I can't remember what OSB meant now, but I'm pretty sure that the relevant file isn't handy anywhere...

Gary

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kfbr392
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by kfbr392 » 15 Oct 2021 18:10

Greetings Gary,

does Luftwaffe KStN 8121 dated 01 May 1944 correspond to the Gliederung posted in this link upthread:
yantaylor wrote:
17 Aug 2018 15:51
I have this for a Fallschirmjager company circa 1944;

https://www.quartermastersection.com/ge ... OMPANY1944
?
Company HQ Section:

Captain/Company Commander (MP40)
Company Sergeant Major (K89 Rifle)
Corporal/Medic on Bicycle (P38 Pistol)
3 x Pvts/Messengers (3 x K89 Rifles)
Pvt/Sniper (K89 Rifle + Scope)
6 x Pvts/Drivers (MP40s)
Vehicles;
Kübelwagen
3 x Motorcycles + Sidecars
2 x 3-ton Trucks

Anti-Tank Troop:
4 x Pvts/Gunners (P38 Pistols)
4 x Pvts/Loaders (MP40s)
4 x Panzerschrecks

Mortar Section:
3 x Mortar Squads Each Containing;
Corporal/Squad Leader (MP40)
Pvt/Gunner (P38 Pistol)
Pvt/Loader (P38 Pistol)
2 x Pvts/Ammo Bearers (K89 Rifles)
8cm GrW 42 Mortar (Kurz)

3 x Rifle Platoons Each Containing;

Platoon HQ Section:
Lieutenant/Platoon Leader (MP40)
Platoon Sergeant (K89 Rifle)
Pvt/Armourer (P38 Pistol)
Pvt/Medic (P38 Pistol)
3 x Pvts/Messengers (K89 Rifles)
2 x Pvts/Drivers (MP40s)
Vehicles;
2 x 3-ton Trucks

3 x Rifle Sections Each Containing;
Sergeant/Section Leader (MP40)
Corporal/Assistant Leader (MP40)
Private (K89 Rifle)
2 x Privates (K89 Rifles + Rifle Grenade Launchers)
Pvt/Sniper (K89 Rifle + Scope)
2 x Pvts/Gunners (P38 Pistols)
2 x Pvts/Loaders (P38 Pistols)
2 x MG34s or MG42s
1 x Kampfpistole

Company Train:
Sergeant Major (MP40)
Sergeant/Pay Clerk (K89 Rifle)
Sergeant/Equipment (MP40)
Sergeant/Armourer (MG34 or MG42 + P38 Pistol)
Pvt/Company Clerk (MG34 or MG42 + P38 Pistol)
Pvt/Shoemaker (K89 Rifle)
Pvt/Tailor (K89 Rifle)
Pvt/Shoemaker (K89 Rifle)
Sergeant/Cook (K89 Rifle)
Pvt/Cook (K89 Rifle)
Pvt/Cook Assistant (K89 Rifle)
Pvt/Motor Mechanic (K89 Rifle)
6 x Pvts/Drivers (K89 Rifles)
Vehicles;
6 x 3-Ton Trucks

Total Strength 171 Officers and Men

Total Weapons:
55 x P38 Pistols
43 x MP40s
73 x K89 Rifles (10 x Sniper Scopes)
9 x Kampfpistole
6 x Rifle Grenade Launchers
20 x MG34s or MG42s
4 x Panzerschrecks
3 x Medium Mortars
source: https://www.quartermastersection.com/ge ... OMPANY1944

obvious note: K89 is supposed to read K98

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 15 Oct 2021 18:45

Close-ish. I did write up the Fallschirmjager Kompanie for a previous incarnation of bayonetstrength, and I think that's where Ian might have based his above version on. The Train in the above has an extra shoemaker, and there are 11 rifles with telescopic sights (2 in Coy HQ and 3 per Pl) and 20 grenade launchers (6 each for Coy HQ and per Pl, plus 2 in the Train). I'd forgotten it shows kampfpistoles as well, with 1 for HQ and 3 per Platoon.

It's a different format to Army KStN, with weapons and vehicles shown separately from personnel, so you have to guess who carried what in terms of firearms, and ALL personnel (asides officers) shown under the Unteroffiziere column. The four medics are shown as 'attached' as well rather than in the body of the table, with one definitely in G Group, the other three as Soldaten.

Gary

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by kfbr392 » 15 Oct 2021 19:07

thanks, you really covered a lot of ground in this thread

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 15 Oct 2021 22:23

Yeah there is an extraordinary amount of information here

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