Squad level firepower comparisons

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Gary Kennedy
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 06 Aug 2018 00:18

Brady wrote:
05 Aug 2018 22:40
Well, it lists the Springfield not the M1C, so that sorta dates it to early 44 ?

Presumably the 4 bazooks go, one each to the HQ and the three rifle platoons ?
Well that description doesn't match any of the three T/Os issued for the Glider Inf Coy. It looks like an amended version of 7-57 from 16 Dec44, which was actually a duplicate of the standard Rifle Coy T/O.

7-57 of 5th Sep 42 took the 41 man Rifle Pl of Jul42 (less its 5 Basics) and added a 60-mm Mortar team (not officially recognised as a Squad) into Pl HQ of gunner, asst and 4 amn bearers, for 47 all ranks. Again no sniper rifles. 7-57 of 1st Aug44 removed the mortar (they went into the Coy Wpns Pl) and added a dedicated radio operator, making the Pl 42 all ranks. Its weapons included an M1C as with the Para Pl. Both versions had six Bazookas under Coy HQ for issue as required. 7-57 of 16th Dec44 was just the standard Rifle Coy, so five Bazookas at Coy.

Gary

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by yantaylor » 06 Aug 2018 20:12

Gary, do you have a good source in which I can amend that data as I don't like putting out bogus material, there is enough of it out there as it is, so if I can make changes then I shall.

Thank you
Yan

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 06 Aug 2018 21:41

I just went through the last few pages and I can’t see that we touched on the piat allocation for a para rifle company, I am courious as to how it compares to the US para rifle company.

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 07 Aug 2018 00:24

Yan - sorry, I didn't realise, is that your own site? I wasn't intending to be critical, I just couldn't match it up with any of the things I was looking at. I can send you the details for the Glider/Para Coys based on the T/Os in force as of June44 if you like. I've finally made a start on getting bayonetstrength back online but it will be a while before I get to the Airborne forces.

Brady - re PIATs for a Para Coy it was the usual three, enough for one per Pl. US Para Coy had four 2.36-in launchers, one per Pl and one for Coy HQ.

Gary

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 07 Aug 2018 05:10

Thanks again

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Cult Icon » 07 Aug 2018 07:42

Gary Kennedy wrote:
05 Aug 2018 23:57
Well the Corps would disagree, though the gunner might be more sympathetic :>

From Weapons (Marine Inf Bn), based on T/O D1 of 1st July 1942;

Corporal - field glasses, compass, SMG
Gunner (No.1) - tripod, 1 chest amn, carbine (or pistol or SMG)
Asst gunner (No.2) - gun, 1 chest amn, carbine (etc)
Amn carrier (No.3) - spare barrel, spare parts, 1 chest amn, rifle
Amn carriers (Nos.4 and 5) each - 2 chests amn and rifle

M1919A4 - 34lb
tripod - 12lb
Amn chest (each) - 20.5lb, including one belt of 250 rounds
So the Assistant gunner carried 55 lbs ontop of his 6 lb carbine and personal gear., that's quite a load.

I do not understand why the paratroops were so much heavier armed than the infantry.

yantaylor
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by yantaylor » 07 Aug 2018 17:08

I think that your average paratrooper would be fighting battles well away from main supporting units and no line of supply, so I would imagine that these men would try and take as much hardware as they could possible carry to be able to counter any threats.

Your average Infantry man would have his supporting units and a line of supply open to his rear, so any threats could be dealt with by heavier support units.

Yan.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by yantaylor » 07 Aug 2018 17:13

Gary Kennedy wrote:
07 Aug 2018 00:24
Yan - sorry, I didn't realise, is that your own site? I wasn't intending to be critical, I just couldn't match it up with any of the things I was looking at. I can send you the details for the Glider/Para Coys based on the T/Os in force as of June44 if you like. I've finally made a start on getting bayonetstrength back online but it will be a while before I get to the Airborne forces.

Brady - re PIATs for a Para Coy it was the usual three, enough for one per Pl. US Para Coy had four 2.36-in launchers, one per Pl and one for Coy HQ.

Gary
Wow Gary, I didn't know 'bayonet strength' was your baby, I use to drop in on that site all the time.
I do hope you get it up and running again, when it is done I will mention you on my site and maybe get a link posted.
Any details would be most helpful, because a lot of the TO&Es on my site came from books and it is now that I am finding that these books are not valid anymore and that some of the contents are inaccurate.
I do try to change any info which I find to be wrong.
Regards
Yan.

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 07 Aug 2018 20:41

Cult Icon wrote:
07 Aug 2018 07:42
Gary Kennedy wrote:
05 Aug 2018 23:57
Well the Corps would disagree, though the gunner might be more sympathetic :>

From Weapons (Marine Inf Bn), based on T/O D1 of 1st July 1942;

Corporal - field glasses, compass, SMG
Gunner (No.1) - tripod, 1 chest amn, carbine (or pistol or SMG)
Asst gunner (No.2) - gun, 1 chest amn, carbine (etc)
Amn carrier (No.3) - spare barrel, spare parts, 1 chest amn, rifle
Amn carriers (Nos.4 and 5) each - 2 chests amn and rifle

M1919A4 - 34lb
tripod - 12lb
Amn chest (each) - 20.5lb, including one belt of 250 rounds
So the Assistant gunner carried 55 lbs ontop of his 6 lb carbine and personal gear., that's quite a load.

I do not understand why the paratroops were so much heavier armed than the infantry.
Well there was a war on :)

Just to underline that the above is the USMC load for an LMG Squad in a Wpns Pl to illustrate their amn allocation for an M1919A4. If I had to offer a guess, and it's worth what you pay for it, I'd expect the gunner and asst to each be expected to carry one box and the amn bearer two more for an even 1000 rounds.

The US Para Bn was a lot smaller than a standard US Inf Bn, principally because it had an authorised 18 Rifle Squads compared to 27 in an Inf Bn. Mortar strength was comparable between the two 4x 81mm + 9x 60mm for the Para to 6x 81mm + 9x 60mm for the Inf. Both Bns had two MG Pls, with eight M1917s for the Inf while the Paras had eight M1919A4s. As noted earlier, the extra M1919 per Rifle Squad in the Para Bn was intended to be a replacement item rather than a means of giving each Rifle Squad two such weapons. I'd be surprised if no one ever tried it that way, but you're taking more riflemen out of their primary role to act as MG numbers if you do. So an Inf Bn had 27 BARs (increasing to 45 with the 18 that were later made available as a reinforcement pool) to 18 principle M1919s for a Para Bn. Overall I think it about evened out, with greater potential Squad firepower for the Paras, but a greater potential manpower strength for the Inf.

Gary

Gary Kennedy
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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Gary Kennedy » 07 Aug 2018 20:46

Thanks Yan. I've just got the British Infantry Battalion up there at the moment, all of the applicable WEs in full and as much info as I could pull together on signals kit and weapons and their ammunition allocations. Wish I could've done it that way 20 years back. It will take me a long time to get the same coverage I had before, but at least I've got the format sorted out. German Inf are next...

I will pull together the stuff for the US Para and Glider Coys for you, fingers crossed you should get a message by weekend.

Gary

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Cult Icon » 07 Aug 2018 21:08

Thanks

Though I mean more in terms of tactics. The regular infantry squads were lightly armed and had only 1 BAR.

The late war Marine Squads had 3 x BAR, it would seem that a Airborne squad would be weighed down with the LMG, shorter ranged carbines (reducing the number of riflemen), and all the ammo boxes (turning riflemen into ammo bearers for some time). It looks like something that seems more defensive minded.

My guess: Perhaps they were trying to gain fire superiority first after their landings, and then eventually the LMGs would go dry and they would have to rely on aimed fire from carbines and garands. The LMGs being so heavy that they couldn't jump with them and would have to retrieve them from airborne containers, which can be lost. IIRC they could jump with a BAR.

In the defensive, this type of arrangement comes across as much better than what the regular infantry had.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 07 Aug 2018 22:09

So the isue with the M1919A6 was what, apart from it’s weight, above there is mention of the second A6 being swapped out in favour of the BAR, which seams a Retrograde step? Referring to the US paratroopers.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Dili » 08 Aug 2018 04:29

I am still puzzled by the BAR, it is probably the worse LMG of the war, i can't see any worse unless we go to WW1 era Chauchat deployed by second line troops in some countries so i am wondering were they employed as lmg or more of a paradoxical ersatz prone assault rifle ...?

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Cult Icon » 08 Aug 2018 05:13

Dili wrote:
08 Aug 2018 04:29
I am still puzzled by the BAR, it is probably the worse LMG of the war, i can't see any worse unless we go to WW1 era Chauchat deployed by second line troops in some countries so i am wondering were they employed as lmg or more of a paradoxical ersatz prone assault rifle ...?
The BAR was designed to do "walking fire" in WW1. To my understanding, the BAR was a fairly accurate and stable firing platform due to its weight. However, it was ~20 lbs ish fully loaded and unwieldy compared to the STG44. But it was much more wieldy and concealable than a LMG & could be handled by one man. The combat in the pacific saw the marine squad move towards triple Bars, probably due to close ranges of pacific combat. I see it as an assault weapon.

In the infantry, the BAR squad was used as suppressible fire and the section leapfrogged forward in a manner not dissimilar to a German infantry squad. Of course, in this role it comes across as being inadequate compared to the Bren or MG42.

I have read of the infantry and marines as often discarding the bipod as being excess weight.

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Re: Squad level firepower comparisons

Post by Brady » 08 Aug 2018 06:01

French troops preferred the FM 24/29 to the BAR, and everything I have read on the subject has lead me to beleave that the BAR is not, at all, a LMG, they used it because they had nothing else and the A6 was a stab at a solution, the want being something more MG 42 ish, which is why I asked above about the BAR-A6 switch in late 44.

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