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German Units - ww2

German Units - ww2

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Published by e.viegas

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Published by: e.viegas on Sep 07, 2010
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To the readers;The intention of these documents is to provide potential Steel Panthers scenario designers anunderstanding and ability to create historical and realistic scenarios. Additionally, E-Mail games can nowbe “based” real force distributions instead of spur of the moment and ad hov creations. There are threetake aways:1.Realistic force creations2.New tactical opportunities3.New units creations
Most nationalities utilized triangular formations. The different forms were dependent upon units available,strength of units and operational goals. Almost all armies used battalion sized unit formations as their minimum size. Steel Panthers limits this important characteristic with formation sized parameters.I am not recommending playing regimental sized battles, but true battalion sized battles are currentlyimpossible with the limits on unit numbers. An example of an realistic operational unit would be an American Regimental Combat Team.Please refer to the RCTs organization.Normally the RCT would have two advancing formations with a third in reserve. Each advancingformation would be a battalion of infantry and 1 or 2 companies of engineers. The artillery battalion andbattery would be with the reserve formation. The armored company would be split between theadvancing formations. This basic formation (one of the advancing columns) requires: 1 or 2 platoons of tanks, 2 or 3 sections of off board artillery (maybe on board), 1 or 2 platoons of engineers with trucks,roughly 28 infantry squads with supporting heavy weapons. The divisional motor pool would providetransportation for the infantry - some on the tanks and the rest in trucks. This may seem like a lot of unitsbut it is only roughly 400 points!! (120 for the tanks, 40 for the artillery, 32 for the engineers, 16 for their trucks, 84 for the infantry, 36 for their trucks, and 70 for misc. (like a company from the Recon battalion - ACs)). This would be a standard formation used in SP. Yet, this type of formation is impossible toachieve with the unit number limitation.
If players could create this type of formation, tactics would be dramatically different. Effective flankingmaneuvers, thrusts ,etc. could be staged. You could afford to be aggressive because you could havesome on board reserve to accomplish the mission if you make a mistake or miscalculation. Now, if atactical mistake is made, you are essentially up a creek.My goal was not to compliant, but provide an easy reference source to truly challenge other players ingames. With unit formation charts, players can simulate an armored attack against an infantry unit andknow what possible units would be available. Again it changes tactics. If you know the enemy will nothave tanks, your selection of forces is going to be different. You might choose slow moving SP artilleryunits to “blast” at bunkers, etc. versus fast moving mobile tanks because you do not have to worry aboutan armored counter attack.Thus, challenges would be what type of engagement, the year and month, the nationalities, and the unittype (Armor division versus an infantry or Armored infantry). This will create “unbalances” in player formations strengths. Armored units will have force advantages over infantry. This is what real militarycommanders hoped to achieve when attacking.
So how to make the game “fair”? Simple, negotiate point reallocations before the game; such as theinfantry division defender has a 25% point bonus or the armor attacker has 25% penalty. Again thesepoint reallocations change your tactics. It is not enough to capture two of the three objective areas, butas the armored commander you must assault all three to win.My goal is to provide the resources to create circumstances like these, allowing different tactical plays.Unit structures and organizations create limits for force selections. In turn these limits provide differentopportunities for tactics based on unit types. Indeed you’ll be faced with the same chooses actualcommanders had or the lack of chooses dependent on you perspective.
Furthermore, anyone using Spedit can now create additional units based on realistic structures. For example, I have integrated (with the editor) the 4
platoon of the standard German infantry company intothe other three platoons. This is realistic, the heavy weapons rarely operated alone, and it allows a largegroup (pool) of men to transport (carry) the heavy weapons. So their movement rates are notdramatically different than infantry (now they are so slow without motorized transport).
I have researched four force structures:1.German2.American3.British (still being cleaned up)4.Russian (still being cleaned up)
These documents are not commercial in nature and the information found in them is freely available in public libraries, etc.
I highly recommend reading the reference sources listed. Most of thestories and accounts are dramatic and compelling. Any copyright infringement is unintentional and thisdocuments distribution is free. My sole request is: if you create scenarios with these charts, I’d love toplay them.Please include this preface and the reference sources with any distribution.
I do not plan to update or revise the documents - the compilation took too much time. I would appreciatereceiving corrections or adjustments. Again these charts and tables are from multiple sources, whichsometimes had slightly different organizations and unit strengths. Additionally, I have rough draft formsof the British and Russian forces. Once I clean them up, I post ‘em.Have fun. Thanks.
German Units
1.German sections are equivalent to American squads.2.There are three types of formations:
Organizational: The “paper” strength a unit has.
Operational: A time period assessment of unit (based on reality).
is how theforces were grouped and typically engaged the enemy in the field.
Field: Snapshot of unit’s current strength. For example: an unit should have 5 tanks in aplatoon per company operating with 2 other companies. But recent losses in fighting has fieldforces at 4 tanks per platoon with only 2 companies (the third was too badly damaged).
The formations specified have optimums unit numbers.
Most units functioned at 80% to 90% of their optimum. For example: A German infantry Panzer Grenadier Battalion should have 39 sections (squads) on paper.However it operational strength is 90% or 35 sections. It has not received replacements, etc. Additionally, after three days of intense fighting it has taken casualties and is at a fieldstrength of 25 sections.
Organizational is what was supposed to be on paper.
How an army thought it would operate. Additionally the organizational set up defines how an army replenishes itself. Thus most units areassigned to a division. Normally new units (replacements or replenishment of people and material)are sent to a division to be assigned to the formation needing the resources. Note: new “units” ,likenew divisions, are formed at higher levels (like the US “creating” new divisions for WW II) or are“created through re-organization” from the remnants of other units (like the German as the war continued).
German operated in kampfgruppe (n).
These were combined arms groups which operated at abattalion or larger level. In other words, individual companies, platoons, etc. were not assigned to akampfgruppe or created as a kampfgruppe (there are rare exceptions).
The exceptions were units which were formed and maintained independence as a smaller units than a regiments such as engineering battalions or assault gun battalions. Furthermore,kampfgruppen were at least battalion sized because a battalion is a small unit when you arecommanding a corp. or army (a battalion is less than a 1000 men, closer to 600ish, while anarmy or corp. could be 100,000+). The exceptions like Engineering battalions or Assault GunBattalions would be assigned to a division. In turn these battalion would be “divided’ bycompany (no smaller) to support the multiple battalions of infantry, tanks, etc.
Kampfgruppe allowed the Germans tactical and strategic flexibility.
Kampfgruppe had an
armored element 
such as tanks, assault guns, tank destroyers (TDs), armored cars, or evenarmored infantry (half-tracks); an
infantry element 
, and
support elements
like artillery, SPs (Self Propelled - I use this to refer to artillery in a tracked vehicle versus mobile artillery which istransported by truck), Anti Tank (AT) guns, etc.
Kampfgruppe allowed the Germans tactical and strategic flexibility.
Kampfgruppe had an
armored element 
such as tanks, assault guns, tank destroyers (TDs), armored cars, or evenarmored infantry (half-tracks); an
infantry element 
, and
support elements
like artillery, SPs (Self Propelled - I use this to refer to artillery in a tracked vehicle versus mobile artillery which istransported by truck), Anti Tank (AT) guns, etc.
The German, unlike the Americans, would combine and consolidate units in the field.
As thewar progressed vehicles and their replacements became scarce. Consequently, to maintain a unit’s

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