goreblimey

Learn to love the French...

9 posts in this topic

110 pages? Just some light reading :)

But very nice and through, with detailed stats and quotes from soldiers that used the weapon.

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Good to learn new stuff, didn't realize the French had an offensive concussion/flash grenade similar to the german one.

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Lehmann is a recognized expert.  Some of the stuff I would bring to people's attention was reading his stuff.  I believe he was one of the people that twigged me onto the 601 and 602 GIAs, the proper France 1940 paratrooper units, instead of the more popular Free French para units (ugly truth, many of the Allied unit names players picked caused they liked the pretty badges that unit sported).

 

More importantly, I think people should study this for doctrinal ToE, since apparently that's a thing now.  R35s and CharB1s should be with inf units, H39s and S35s with armored units with a smattering of B1, and Pans could be said to be in either.

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2 hours ago, Kilemall said:

Lehmann is a recognized expert.  Some of the stuff I would bring to people's attention was reading his stuff.  I believe he was one of the people that twigged me onto the 601 and 602 GIAs, the proper France 1940 paratrooper units, instead of the more popular Free French para units (ugly truth, many of the Allied unit names players picked caused they liked the pretty badges that unit sported).

 

More importantly, I think people should study this for doctrinal ToE, since apparently that's a thing now.  R35s and CharB1s should be with inf units, H39s and S35s with armored units with a smattering of B1, and Pans could be said to be in either.

yes the B1 Bis should be in the infantry units, im interested in why you say armored divisions. Its my understanding it was a infantry support tank.

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6 hours ago, stankyus said:

yes the B1 Bis should be in the infantry units, im interested in why you say armored divisions. Its my understanding it was a infantry support tank.

Well, it depends on what you consider an armored division.  I think most people would think DLM for armor division, which was properly speaking a cavalry division analogous to the British cruiser type doctrine.  Those are loaded with S35s and H39s, and I think one of them had Pannys attached for recon, others used AMRs which aren't modeled.

The Chars were usually assigned to BCCs which were then assigned to whatever, usually an infantry division, but I think read in there about a different division type I was not appreciative of the DCRs.  They are armor concentrations, just more of the infantry assault speed type tanks like the B1, B1bis, and the R35.

Looking over the stats, I think the D2 was a more kickass armor scheme then I realized, kind of like what you would get if B1bis and S35 had baby tanks.  I don't think I'd want to make it the MBT going forward, more horsepower and a bigger turret with at least the long 47 in it means a different chassis, but it seemed more like something functional.

As for the divisional comment, I didn't really grasp before reading the OP document that the B1Bis tank BCC formations were mostly attached to a slow infantry form of the armor division, called a DCR.  There were four of them, and I can find three of them in this classic OOB website.  Here are two of the four DCRs to give you an idea what that looks like.

http://france1940.free.fr/oob/gqg.html#2eDCR

They were attached to Army or Army Group, so a strategic commitment at a high command level.

This site gets into the nitty gritty of DCR use-

http://enpointe.perso.infonie.fr/dcr.html

Note DeGaulle wants to create the French equivalent of PanzerGroups or PanzerArmees.

 

The units I think most players think of as armored divisions are the DLMs, which properly speaking are cavalry armor divisions.  They were the only ones operated at least as an armor corps, and went toe to toe just fine with panzerkorps, just no supporting inf to hold their flanks so they retreated.

Here is Corps Cav-

http://france1940.free.fr/oob/1armee.html#CC

Here is the DLM in detail-

http://enpointe.perso.infonie.fr/dlm.html

 

So, translating to game terms?  Problematic, even if we treat our current 'divisions' as virtual corps they aren't triangular by any means, and a lot more special purpose.  At a minimum we would have to have two different types of French armor brigades, one DCR and one DLM.

 

Then there is the question of what past Tier 0?  I have to think that if the French Army survived 1940 they would have been listening more to DeGaulle, so I would probably align Tier 1-2 things like the DCR article above has it, and go more American later on with French flavor.

 

Also note what a mish mash of this unit detached to that unit in the French OOB, not casual as several of those are AT units or Pannys or whatnot.  Similar issues with German and US units- Germans of course used adhoc Kampfgruppes all the time, and the US army had something like 50% of it's combat power built into specialized units that were then attached to whatever division needed them. 

Also, German divisions went through a continuous improvement process called Waves, and near as I can tell they did a LOT more fiddling at the unit generation end then Americans, who near as I can tell made it up as they went along, especially with all those loose units that could be assigned and the press of time that having to form then ship and reassemble divisions added in.

Welcome to your new German TOE friend, Dr. Niehorster.  This is your starting point for German TOE arguments-

 

Wave 1 Infantry

http://www.niehorster.org/011_germany/39_organ_army/39_id-1_welle.html

Wave 2 Infantry

http://www.niehorster.org/011_germany/39_organ_army/39_id-2_welle.html

And the constant reorging went on and on, not least because of the Russian campaign and manpower drain.

General best starting point- somewhere he's got a bunch of master documents to ridiculous degrees but I think they may have been taken offline or relocated.  Anyway, this will do for starters-

http://www.niehorster.org/011_germany/__ge_index.htm

 

 

Edited by Kilemall

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Remember that France was moving toward the MBT concept with the G1. It would have replaced the B tanks for infantry support, operating with Lorraine 39 APCs to deliver troops to the point of assault, and (because the French had Edgar Brandt to design ammo for them) would have been the tank killer too. S40 tanks would have been relegated to support, with the Panhard 201 developing in an EBR-like direction a decade sooner and filling the role of high road-speed armored cavalry.

The Germans still thought that the PzKpfW IV was an infantry support tank and the III was the tank fighter. The British of course hadn't an inkling yet that cruisers and infantry tank designs should converge. The US was still playing catch-up regarding how tanks would be used in modern warfare.

At a simple level, the G1 seems conceptually identical to the Sherman, i.e. medium length 75mm gun for maximum HE/frag performance, and (per specs) similar automotive performance, albeit with more armor sloping. The difference would have been the Brandt 75/58mm APDS shells, providing superior armor penetration and efficient infantry support.

The B1 (ter) was scheduled to replace the (bis) on production lines in late Fall 1940. There would have been a realization, at least among tank leaders like DeGaulle once the pattern of fighting became effective, that the (ter) was a stopgap weapon.

Of course, as noted it was apparent in hindsight after France's defeat that the DCR structure was a bad mistake, self-defeated by their lack of integrated infantry, artillery, communications, air cooperatiion and intrinsic supply; and highly mechanized combined-arms divisions were the only way to win. Without the Armistice, it would have been abundantly clear to French leaders that the DLM structure was superior to all the other French TOEs. 

What French R&D was most lacking was SP artillery, on- and off-road SPAA, and tank recovery capability. I could envision all of those as being on French 1941 shopping lists.

Edited by jwilly

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Also high-horsepower tank powertrains. The B1 powertrain was both production-limited, and underpowered for a tank even heavier than the B1...which likely would have been the case for the G1 even at its inception, with weight probably being added in future versions. There was dicussion in 1940 that, because the available production of the medium-length 75mm "fortress gun" was already committed to completion of the Maginot Line defensive arming, the G1 might, in order to  go into production as planned during 1941, be initially armed with the long 47mm gun. The 75mm armament then would follow in 1942. Whatever B1-like mobility was achieved with the B1 powertrain and the 47mm gun, certainly more horsepower would help with the heavier 75mm gun system.

Because France had a limited armaments manufacturing workforce, and additionally had endemic labor relations issues in armaments factories due to French labor unions' ideological affiliation with the Soviet Union and the Ribbontrop-Molotov Agreement between the Soviet Uniion and Germany, France had been seriously considering building an armaments factory complex in the US. The likely site was to have been Savannah, Georgia. A tank factory complex in Savannah would have been readily suppliable with sub-systems such as powertrains from the much larger US manufacturing base. Those sub-systems would have been transported to the industrial areas of Savannah or nearby Georgia locales via the railroads already being intensively upgraded to support the Liberty-ship construction yards being built in Savannah and Brunswick, which built 177 Liberty ships starting in 1941. 

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