Friday, December 11, 2020

Die Grenadiere

(Source)

"Good Lord, do they all have automatic weapons?" Leutnant Manfred Sauer couldn't believe his eyes. Their grenadier company had arrived and it seemed that every man carried the Stg 44 assault rifle,¹ those that didn't were specialists (radio men, machine gun crewman, and the like.) This was the first time Sauer had seen one of the grenadier companies which made up the new Volksgrenadier divisions.

"Huh, Volksgrenadier, very German that is." Hauptfeldwebel Klaus-Peter Keller remarked.

"I suppose so, Spieß." Sauer thought that it smacked of the Nazi's insane racial theories, but he didn't say it aloud, you never knew who might be listening. Also who might seek favor for reporting what some called "Anti-German activity." More like "Anti-Nazi" was Sauer's opinion. He did not equate the Nazis with Germany, after all Hitler was an Austrian!

"You know, I saw the report on these guys, seems that they're mostly Austrians, recruited there anyway. Say Manfred, are you all right?"

Sauer had had a choking fit, or so it seemed when Keller mentioned these Volksgrenadiers being Austrian. He had damned near swallowed his tongue trying to stifle a laugh.

"Ja, ja, I'm fine Klaus-Peter. Perhaps my collar is too tight."

"Of course, well, Herr Leutnant, I have to go get these men settled in. Makes a nice addition to the Kampfgruppe though, 120 more men. Lots of automatic weapons too."

"Well, they're pretty, but can they fight?" Sauer said under his breath.


Major Jürgen von Lüttwitz looked up from his desk at the nattily attired captain who had stepped into the bar area of the Gasthaus which was serving as the battle group's headquarters, "Can I help you Hauptmann?"

Snapping off a Hitler salute, the man reported in, "Heil Hitler! Beg to report Herr Major, I am Hauptmann Hans Koch, commanding Grenadierkompanie Koch! My unit is at full strength, 120 men, twelve Opel Blitz LKWs² and one Kübelwagen."

Von Lüttwitz sat back and studied the new arrival for a moment. His uniform and equipment all looked brand new, no doubt his men were similarly decked out. Germany couldn't afford to properly equip veteran units at the front, yet could spend time and Reichsmarks on raising up new units composed of young boys.

"Yes, at ease Hauptmann Koch. I have your unit roster right here, you are lavishly equipped with automatic weapons I see, the new StG 44 primarily. You say you have LKWs and yet I see you still have horse handlers on your roster. Odd that."

"Sir, I don't question what the high command chooses to call them, they assigned them to my unit, we don't have any horses, wagons, or carts for that matter. Most of the new grenadier companies are horse drawn, we were motorized for some reason."

"Well, I'm sure OKH³ had their reasons. What shape are your vehicles in?"

Hauptmann Koch paused for a moment, then said, "Fairly good shape Sir, only two broke down on the way here - we had to tow them in, but the others will get by."

"Do you have any mechanics assigned? Or just horse handlers?" von Lüttwitz had never understood the idiots in the rear who blithely assigned horse handlers to a motorized unit. It wasn't like that in the early years, he thought.

"No Sir, but a few of my boys know enough to keep them running. As long as we have fuel and oil. The old beasts do tend to burn a lot of oil." Koch said.

"Quite, I'll have my mechanics look them over. We're moving forward to the border in the next few days. Later today I will brief you and my other leaders on what is in store. Go see to your men, get them food and a place to sleep tonight. I see you fellows are mostly Austrian, raised and recruited in Reichsgau Salzburg."

"Yes Sir, I think a couple of the men are actually Bavarian, like me, but yes, we're an Austrian unit. If that is all Sir?"

Von Lüttwitz nodded and said, "Dismissed."

Hauptmann Koch threw his arm out in the Hitler salute and began to bellow the usual Hitler greeting when von Lüttwitz interrupted him.

"You can stop that nonsense right now Hauptmann, this is the Army, not the SS, not the SA, nor any other Party organization. At the front we try not to salute, the Amis love to shoot German officers, and they have some very good marksmen. So nod your head, wave, anything but salute. Are we clear Hauptmann?"

"Jawohl Herr Major!"

"Now go, go, I have paperwork to attend to, I see you have a full complement of staff. Effective immediately I am commandeering them for my staff. All I have right now is a messenger, your staff men will be of immediate benefit to the Kampfgruppe. Also I want to see your platoon leaders and your Hauptfeldwebel within the hour. Now go!"


Studying Grenadierkompanie Koch's roster, von Lüttwitz was impressed by the weaponry the men carried. A lot of fully automatic weapons, mostly carried by men who averaged 17 years of age. He fully expected that these young boys would go through a lot of ammunition. He doubted they had much training at all. And the offensive would begin in less than a week!

I don't have high hopes for this adventure, but maybe I can keep most of these boys alive. We shall see, von Lüttwitz thought, we shall see...

Grenadierkompanie Koch:

Hauptmann Hans Koch Kompanieführer


Kompanietrupp
Unterfeldwebel Paul Wolf Kompanietruppführer
Oberfeldwebel Otto Böhm Hauptfeldwebel
Unteroffizier Wolf Weber Rechnungsführer
Unteroffizier Egon Meyer Gerätunteroffizier
Unteroffizier Emil Braun Sanitätsunteroffizier
Gefreiter Lars Maier Melder
Grenadier Arndt Lang Melder
Grenadier Heinz Roth Melder
Obergefreiter Götz Müller Funker
Gefreiter Eike Becker Funker
Grenadier Horst Bauer Funker
Grenadier Klaus Klein Funker
Obergefreiter Uwe Neumann Scharfschütze
Gefreiter Josef Meier Scharfschütze
Gefreiter Ernst Vogel Scharfschütze
Gefreiter Olaf Ludwig Scharfschütze
Grenadier Thomas Haas Scharfschütze
Grenadier Wenzel Graf Scharfschütze
Obergefreiter Arnold Kühn Pferdeführer

1. Sturmzug
Leutnant Norbert Pohl Zugführer

Zugtrupp
Gefreiter Hugo Schmidt Melder
Grenadier Otto Fischer Melder
Obergefreiter Ehren Wagner Schütze für Gewehrgranatgerät
Grenadier Fritz Schulz Schütze für Gewehrgranatgerät
Grenadier Karl Richter Schütze für Gewehrgranatgerät
Grenadier Ewald Krüger Krankenträger
Gefreiter Harold Lange Fahrer vom Bock
Obergefreiter Josef Lehmann Pferdeführer

1. Sturmgruppe
Unteroffizier Knut Schulze Gruppenführer
Obergefreiter Lotar Köhler Stellvertreter Gruppenführer
Grenadier Oswald König Schütze
Grenadier Walter Fuchs Schütze
Grenadier Bernd Scholz Schütze
Grenadier Carolus Weiß Schütze
Grenadier Delbert Hahn Schütze
Grenadier Kurt Baumann Schütze

2. Sturmgruppe
Obergefreiter Robert Kraus Gruppenführer
Gefreiter Hermann Otto Stellvertreter Gruppenführer
Grenadier Michael Groß Schütze
Grenadier Aribert Kuhn Schütze
Grenadier Baldur Engel Schütze
Grenadier Herbert Horn Schütze
Grenadier Herwig Busch Schütze
Grenadier Marcus Voigt Schütze

Feuergruppe
Unteroffizier Marius Sauer Gruppenführer
Gefreiter Moritz Wolff Stellvertreter Gruppenführer
Obergefreiter Gert Hoffmann M.G.-Schütze 1
Grenadier Rolf Schröder M.G.-Schütze 2
Gefreiter Hanno Schäfer M.G.-Schütze 1
Grenadier Holger Krause M.G.-Schütze 2
Grenadier Jürgen Schmid Munitions-Schütze
Grenadier Othmar Walter Munitions-Schütze

2. Sturmzug
Oberfeldwebel Otto Meyer Zugführer

Zugtrupp
Gefreiter Rudolph Huber Melder
Grenadier Werner Peters Melder
Obergefreiter Christof Jung Schütze für Gewehrgranatgerät
Grenadier Gunther Frank Schütze für Gewehrgranatgerät
Grenadier Hellmuth Beck Schütze für Gewehrgranatgerät
Grenadier Wulfhelm Vogt Krankenträger
Gefreiter Andreas Jäger Fahrer vom Bock
Obergefreiter Martin Arnold Pferdeführer

1. Sturmgruppe
Unteroffizier Sven Schneider Gruppenführer
Obergefreiter August Schwarz Stellvertreter Gruppenführer
Grenadier Gustav Hofmann Schütze
Grenadier Helmut Schmitt Schütze
Grenadier Helmuth Werner Schütze
Grenadier Theodor Kaiser Schütze
Grenadier Fridolf Keller Schütze
Grenadier Günther Berger Schütze

2. Sturmgruppe
Obergefreiter Leopold Franke Gruppenführer
Gefreiter Nicolaus Simon Stellvertreter Gruppenführer
Grenadier Wernher Krämer Schütze
Grenadier Norbert Seidel Schütze
Grenadier Alfred Ziegler Schütze
Grenadier Lorentz Thomas Schütze
Grenadier Harald Hartmann Schütze
Grenadier Henning Schmitz Schütze

Feuergruppe
Unteroffizier Magnus Herrmann Gruppenführer
Gefreiter Bernhard Möller Stellvertreter Gruppenführer
Obergefreiter Egbert Schubert M.G.-Schütze 1
Grenadier Ludger Albrecht M.G.-Schütze 2
Gefreiter Johannes Lorenz M.G.-Schütze 1
Grenadier Ludolf Schuster M.G.-Schütze 2
Grenadier Reinhold Winter Munitions-Schütze
Grenadier Matthias Sommer Munitions-Schütze

Gewehrzug
Feldwebel Reinhart Brandt Zugführer

Zugtrupp
Grenadier Urban Schreiber Melder
Grenadier Robert Pfeiffer Melder
Obergefreiter Eitel Zimmermann Schütze für Gewehrgranatgerät
Grenadier Heinrich Winkler Schütze für Gewehrgranatgerät
Grenadier Siegfried Martin Schütze für Gewehrgranatgerät
Grenadier Wolfgang Schulte Krankenträger
Gefreiter Wolfram Dietrich Fahrer vom Bock
Obergefreiter Fredrik Friedrich Pferdeführer

1. Gruppe
Unterfeldwebel Friedrich Günther Gruppenführer
Obergefreiter Walter Schumacher Stellvertreter Gruppenführer
Gefreiter Reinhard Heinrich M.G.-Schütze 1
Grenadier Karlheinz Bergmann M.G.-Schütze 2
Grenadier Vollrath Lang Schütze
Grenadier Walther Scholz Schütze
Grenadier Wilhelm Möller Schütze
Grenadier Bastian Weiß Schütze

2. Gruppe
Unteroffizier Ferdinand Jung Gruppenführer
Obergefreiter Gottlieb Hahn Stellvertreter Gruppenführer
Gefreiter Karl-Heinz Schubert M.G.-Schütze 1
Grenadier Klaus-Peter Vogel M.G.-Schütze 2
Grenadier Maximilian Friedrich Schütze
Grenadier Reinhardt Keller Schütze
Grenadier Ruprecht Günther Schütze
Grenadier Sigmund Frank Schütze

3. Gruppe
Unteroffizier Theobald Berger Gruppenführer
Obergefreiter Waldemar Winkler Stellvertreter Gruppenführer
Gefreiter Albrecht Roth M.G.-Schütze 1
Grenadier Dietrich Beck M.G.-Schütze 2
Grenadier Gottschalk Lorenz Schütze
Grenadier Hansjörg Baumann Schütze
Grenadier Sigismund Franke Schütze
Grenadier Hans-Ulrich Albrecht Schütze






¹ The weapon is the Sturmgewehr 44, note that "Sturmgewehr" translates to "assault rifle."
² LKW - Lastkraftwagen, basically a truck. Or "lorry" if you will, for our cousins across the water.
³ OKH - Oberkommando des Heeres, Army High Command

Author's Note: Please forgive all the rosters I've put out lately. I like to know who the characters are and what their roles are, and who they're interacting with. It's the old sergeant in me (and a bit of the engineer in me) which likes everything written down real proper like and just so. Apologies...

Link to all of The Chant's fiction.

76 comments:

  1. Ah, der Sturmgewehr... The original assault rifle. Mind you, after the war evolved thru CETME, and to G-3, which still soldiers on in many places...

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    1. I've fired the G-3, got to carry one around on NATO exercises. They get heavier with each passing hour...

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    2. Back in the day when I was a lowly police sergeant I had a Sturmgewehr brought into me along with a prisoner, you have to understand us British take a fairly dim view of such weapons being in the hands of criminals, especially drug dealers. To cut a long story short it turned out it was a souvenir his dad had brought back from Germany when he was doing his national service. Anyhow said weapon was bagged and tagged and sent of for examination as our resident ex soldiers couldn't remove the magazine as it had seized onto the weapon. It turns out there were rounds in the mag and it would have fired if the trigger was pulled. It shows how good the original manufacture of these weapons was.
      The G3 was also being developed at the end of the war at a time when the British army was still using the old Lee Enfield .303. FYI quite a few UK police forces used the G3 as an intermediate range weapon.
      Retired

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    3. Great story!

      Also a good reason why one should always treat a weapon as being loaded and ready to fire. Even if you can't really tell!

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    4. Oh yes!! That was something we drilled into every police officer.
      Retired

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    5. That's good practice with *any* weapon. A nursing home my wife worked at many years ago put up some antique Western décor. Besides the horse-drawn plow, scythe, and other items such an old wooden barrel, etc., was a trapdoor Springfield rifle conversion. It was likely a relic from someone in the Army who left the service nearby (legally or not, desertion being common in that area in the 1860-1880's (think "goldfields" plus relatively horrid life for enlistees, especially those of foreign birth, as most were at that time). At any rate, when a cow-orker took it out of the display case, cocked it, and pulled the trigger, it was a damned good thing he wasn't aiming at anyone as some idiots are known to do. The rest of the night was hellish for those on duty as the shot woke everyone up, but the guilty got off and so did the bystanders. I'm surprised it fired at all. There's no telling how old the cartridge was, but the aide told the nurse he couldn't open the chamber, and was only able to cock the hammer with difficulty. It was covered up successfully, but I'm glad my wife worked upstairs that night and was nowhere near the scene of the crime.

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  2. "Well, they're pretty, but can they fight?" Subtle reference to "The Dirty Dozen"?

    And now I'm thinking about the line in "Band of Brothers" when one of the soldiers yells to the Germans, "You have horses! What were you thinking?"
    On the other hand, horses self replicate, and the don't need a POL depot.

    A group of young soldiers with fully automatic assault weapons. The American Army won't get to that point for a lot of years.

    Much to think about in today's post.

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    1. Horses actually require a lot of fodder and a lot of care.

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    2. ♫ Hello Mudder, Hello Fodder... Here I am at..... ♪ I always say hay...

      And it's the horse, the saddle, the man... in that order.

      I heard the "general" in my head too, John!

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    3. STxAR. My dad was born and raised in El Paso and he told me of his visits during the thirties to Fort Bliss when the Army was using horses. Exactly what you said.
      Sarge. And you also have to deal with the fertilizer!

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    4. Vehicles are easier than horses.

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    5. You turn the engine off and walk away, when you come back you start the engine and go on your way. Not that simple with horses...

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    6. And trucks, unless on fire or blowing up, when stopped and shut down, don't give away your position by noise. Horses make noise even when they're not working.

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    7. Beans - They are noisy beasts, but if you're trying to sneak up on people while riding horses, you're probably an idiot. Check that, you're definitely an idiot.

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    8. The sound of stabled horses, or horses on a trot-line, can carry far on a snowy or wintery night, or day for that matter.

      A truck not running just doesn't make noise.

      That's what I was trying to say. And now I wonder why I just didn't say that? Becasue.. I'm Beans! Obtuse is my way of life!

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    9. Well I get that, but tactically, trying to sneak up on people while on horseback isn't very bright. Cavalry should charge! There is no sneaking...

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    10. John:

      Dad entered the service in Fort Bliss. He said while you were waiting for inspection, it was best to have your boots in the shade of your legs, else the polish would melt off.

      I adopted the cavalry-esq motto when I was shooting competition. If I waited to clean my gear until the next day, it took more work. Who knew fouling would weld itself to a bore in a few hours.... So, no matter how tired, it was clean the rifle, clean the shooting kit, and then clean the shooter.... It works everytime it's tried, too.

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    11. It's good practice to do that.

      The French cavalry under Napoléon were notorious for neglecting their horses. Rather than clean them and feed them, they'd be wandering the countryside looking for loot and women. One source I read said that you could tell a French cavalry unit from a distance from the smell of the horses saddle sores!

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    12. So the general consensus on horse transport would be, ............ neigh. :)

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    13. Well played John, well played.

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    14. It's recycled from the horse wine joke, Caberneigh, and Chardoneigh, but it fit so very well.

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    15. Actually, German Strategic Thinking up to 1935 and 1936 was largely based around horses. Both Achtung- Panzer (by Guderian) and Truppenfuhrer (The German Army Handbook) have a far amount of text dedicated to them. Things changed that quickly.

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    16. Change was very rapid in that time period.

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    17. Clark AB, Philippines, actually had the last actual horse cavalry unit in the US military. The base (the former Ft. Stotsenburg) was huge (only Ft. Hood was ever larger in the post-WWII era). Since it lay at the base of Mt. Pinatubo, a large part of its perimeter was only patrollable on foot or on horseback. Back in the 1950's the US hired Negritos (very short, dark, curly-haired aboriginals who are likely to be the direct descendant of the first settlers of the islands [and related to Australian Aborigines]) to patrol the perimeters of Clark and Subic. Thievery took a steep nosedive, but at the inverse rate, headless bodies were turning up. That successful program was, of course, immediately terminated. As was, in the 1980's, the construction of the 12' high "Creat Wall of Clark". The Philippines government protested vigorously enough to get the "Great Wall" reduced to 8' to prevent falling injuries. I'm not 100% sure that actually happened, but after almost 3 years there, I definitely believed it. Whatever one might think about the last month in American electoral politics, we haven't yet reached Marcos-ian levels of corruption and electoral fraud.

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    18. That's true, not yet anyway.

      (I've heard those stories from the Philippines, you didn't mess with the Negritos!)

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  3. Die Grenadiere.Unfortunately, yes they will, in large numberss.

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    1. Yes, screaming and charging into machine gun and rifle fire is about the only tactic some of those kids knew.

      They died in droves in the Bulge.

      Nice play on words from the title, in German (which it is) it simply means "The Grenadiers." I didn't see the meaning you gave it until you mentioned it. I am not that clever...

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  4. That's a lot of German names to come up with, congrats there Sarge......:)

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    1. The Internet helped, a lot. 😏

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    2. Did you notice Oskar Meyer-Wiener? Or Harold Kneer?
      Neither did I. A wasted opportunity if you ask me. haha

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    3. Well there are two guys named Meyer and the guys in this unit are mostly from Austrian. So one of 'em could be from Vienna (Wien auf Deutsch, someone or something from Vienna is a Wiener, auf Deutsch), so we might have an Otto Meyer-Wiener.

      I know, not the same.

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  5. Sarge - did the Germans do much boots on the ground scouting/recon prior to launching Wacht am Rein to more precisely locate the Alloed positions? Or did Hitler think too much of that would give away their plan? A day prior to the 16th with a recon patrol might provide an interesting perspective ...
    And like Nylon12, I wam impressed by your roster - must have kept a phone book as a memento from your stay in Deutschland! :-)
    I've shot an StG 44 - like a lot of German weapons in WWII, they were a testament to German engineering and innovation, but too little, too late to affect the war's outcome. And we had to relearn in Vietnam Nam that "spray and pray " wasn't always as effective as deliberate aimed semi auto fire.

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    1. The Germans did have a few people going back and forth across the line. There are parts of Belgium, particularly around St. Vith, where the people speak German and many of them, back then, considered themselves German.

      But extra scouting/recon, not to my knowledge. This attack was a huge gamble, even Hitler knew that. Anything out of the ordinary would have given the game away. Heck, we knew it was coming, some intel guys thought so anyway, and we didn't do anything to prepare. Looking back on it though, I'm not sure there's much more we could have done.

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  6. Hey AFSarge;

    Young boys well equiped with the latest uniforms and weapons, but were new, Von Luttwitz had mused that they would go through a lot of ammo and they would, Raw troops would go through ammo like a firehose if all they know is"Spray and Pray". Hell we did it in Vietnam, the statistic was like 1 million rounds for every kill or something like that, according to SLA Marshal, I am going by memory mind you. Part of the reason the M16A2 went to 3 round burst, to slow it down. I hated the 3 round burst feature on the rifle, any decently trained soldier can control the number of rounds, only a newbie does a"magdump", but there was time that you needed the full mag to gain suppression while the rest of the squad was moving. usually 2 guys were dumping fire on the target, keep their heads down while the others were moving and it would then rotate while the 2 guys were reloading. Keep the enemy pinned while the squad envelops the target with grenades or what have you. Well anyway.*Sorry* Something that I had noticed, the Germans seemed to have the better uniforms at the end of the war, from camoflage to cold weather whereas we still basically had the same thing through all theaters. I guess it was because our Army was so large and spread out all over the world and the Germans were regional. More good background, didn't mean to ramble, Excellent Post :)

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    1. In the German squad the MG 34/42 was used to suppress. The guys with rifles/assault rifles would do the maneuvering. Standard German doctrine was, if a machine gunner gets hit, then another guy jumps in, the firepower of a German squad was impressive, even down to two men, as long as the MG stayed up.

      Yes, the Germans were sort of regional but, as you know, they fought in a lot of places, from Tunisia to Stalingrad. They had tropical kit, mountain kit, regular kit, problem was distribution. They couldn't get stuff to the front as fast as we could, but our Army is notorious for making logistical mistakes in every war we've ever fought. Like men having only their leather combat boots and field jackets in the Ardennes. Took a while to ship that stuff overseas.

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    2. Hey AFSarge;

      I forgot to mention the M60(Machinegun) when I was blathering, Lol Our logistics didn't get better, I fought the Gulf War in BDU's, Most all of VII Corp fought the war in BDU's, it told the Iraqi's which army they were facing, if they wore Tan uniforms and drove Tan vehicles, they were stateside, if they were green, they were from the European Theater, and that actually worked in our favor, according to our intel reports, it scared the crap out of the Iraqi's, we were the ones that had faced down their trainers in Europe and won. We didn't get the DCU or the *Chocochips* until the war was over. My jungle boots were bleached white from the sun and sand.

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    3. I seem to recall that the M60 was based on the MG 42. Yup, forest green BDUs in the deserts. way to go Big Army. Right up there with the Navy's blueberry camouflage.

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    4. At least the Army FG-BDUs wouldn't shrink-wrap their occupants in case of fire. Unlike the blueberries...

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    5. Never heard that before. Looked it up and found a reference to that in the Navy Times (not always a reliable source). A uniform that melts when on fire? Whatever two-bit dumbass admiral who approved that needs to be stripped of his/her pension and rank.

      F**king Big Navy never learns.

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    6. (Don McCollor)...The Brits learned that back in the Falklands - cotton smolders, polyester melts and sticks. They also learned why the WW2 warship crews wore the the hot uncomfortable anti-flash hoods and gloves...

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    7. (Don McCollor)...(sorry to post again so soon)...But probably the ultimate assault rifle in WW2 was the improvised Marine "Stinger" of which only six were made. A 30 cal Browning AN/M2 air cooled aircraft machine gun fitted with a Tommy gun stock It weighed 25 pounds, firing between 1200=1350 rpm. The Stinger could lay down absolute Hell for 5 or 6 seconds until the 100 round ammo box went dry. The 'Machine Gun Kid" (Tony Stein, CMH, posthumous) carried one on Iwo...

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    8. Don #1 - U.S. Navy learned that lesson in earlier wars as well, but the effing admirals seem to have short memories.

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    9. Don #2 - There's a reason only six were made, sucker is heavy!

      But yeah, it was a beast of a weapon.

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    10. The M60 was derived from the MG42; as was the MG3, a far better weapon. The M60 was gas-driven, the 42/3 delayed roller lock. M60 barrels therefore had a gas piston and cylinder and the bipod attached. Barrel changes in the MG42/3 are a breeze. The M60? Not so much.
      Boat Guy

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    11. Roger that on the barrel changes!

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  7. I like the rosters. The Germanic font reminds me of those WWII-era movies, watching the credits or the epilogue! von Lüttwitz talking to the Cpt Koch about his broken vehicles unfortunately reminds me of LCS and the MCM mission package- consistently broken and has to be towed in sometimes. Kind of telling if you ask me.

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    1. Well, the German trucks were not bad, a good design, just that there weren't many of them, spare parts were scarce, and they were old by 1944. LCS was/is a horrible design and was rushed into production for political reasons. I know some of the history behind that project, it was designed for a non-existent mission. I blame the late VADM Cebrowski and his idiotic "street fighter" concept. A good way to kill American sailors and not much else. A pox on LCS and those who forced that POS on the Navy and the American taxpayer.

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    2. The sad thing is there is a need for a littoral warship with the ability to be flexible. The current US motor gun boats do this very well. They have the armament to punch an LCS to death, at half the length and far less of a price, and still manage to be more survivable than the LCSessessessssss.

      An actual Corvette or Frigate would have cost the same as the Little Carpy Ships and be far more survivable and useful.

      But... someone was getting either kickbacks or a cushy job post-service time or was actively attacking the US Navy from inside.

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    3. I don't know if the USN still has motor gun boats, are we talking brown water Navy here? Island hopping in the Pacific, why do we need LCS, the one size fits all can't do a GD thing vessel? How are corvettes and frigates useful against a peer navy? Sub hunting, or as expendable targets. Too many people think we're going to refight WWII.

      We ain't.

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    4. Yes, we have patrol gun boats. They are nice, pack a huge punch, can take damage and are very useful. Against a peer like the ChiComs? Not so useful. But against idiots in motorboats, like Iran or Somalian Pirates? Works a charm.

      Same thing with Light Attack Aircraft. Against a peer? Dead! Against a Counter Insurgency or a non-peer? Works like a charm.

      Corvettes and Frigates aren't very good against a peer navy if not equipped with modern weapons and sensors. Then again, the LCS would be more effective if actually equipped with a full suite of modern sensors and guns.

      Back in WWII, corvettes and frigates were great for patrolling. The lowly Destroyer Escort, definitely not a front-line ship, did yeoman work in patrol, naval gunfire support and ASW work. Should we not have, back in WWII, built DEs and similar ships because we were fighting a peer navy?

      No. We're not refighting WWII. But we do have to fight enemies from Third World pirates up to Peer-equivalent navies. Which means sometimes not needing to use an AEGIS-fitted ship to put the stonk on some bad guy. Which means... Frigates or Corvettes or something similar.

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    5. And what is this patrol gun boat, are you talking about the Cyclone-class patrol ships?

      As to your last statement, I would agree if money was unlimited and we didn't have f**king idiots allocating funding for stupid/unproven designs. We shouldn't be fighting pirates anyway. Bomb the f**king nests and be done with it.

      As to your penultimate paragraph, again comparing modern situation with WWII. DEs and the like were good at escorting convoys, they were cheap, and money wasn't really an object back then. ASW, period, what are we patrolling? Someone else's littorals? F**k that, I'm tired of carrying other people's baggage. Let them fight their own f**king wars.

      Yes, you touched a sore spot. Theorizing about this stuff is easy, paying for it is not, especially with the f**ked up system we have these days.

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    6. I'm assuming Beans referring to the Mk VI. Haven't been aboard one so won't speculate as to qualities. While USN has some crappy vessels to be sure, it's so poorly run now that even our good ships get run over by merchantmen.
      Boat Guy

      Delete
    7. Sad but true. Didn't know of the Mk VI, it's so new. Definitely brown water navy, not an ocean going combatant. But then again, neither is the LCS.

      Delete
  8. OldAFSarge - I've got some stuff that you might like to see/use soon. Send me your email for an attachment, please.

    mbrown 1941 @ twc.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. Russians definitely were impressed withthe Sturmgewehr, to the point of making thiroughly russian version we all know as AK47...

    ReplyDelete
  10. I appreciate the unit rosters. It's a nice detail, and a good idea that I'll be incorporating into my (eventual) sci-fi story that I should really start writing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really helps me keep track of the units. So I thought I'd share them with the readers.

      Delete
  11. It took a double-reading of the Roster to realize that a lot of those guys weren't all from the same family. Duh...

    Two things to be scared of. New troops in shiny uniforms and old troops in shiny uniforms. New because they'll die in droves due to being complete newbies. Old because they'll kill in droves because they're retreds from rest/refit (and sometimes a tad touched upstairs so...)

    Great story. You are teaching the reader about a lot of stuff that normal authors just assume the reader already knows. And you do it in a way that if the reader does already know, it doesn't interrupt the flow of the story. You have clawed up from the depths of being a 'writer' to the lofty heights of being an 'author.' (Like the difference between someone who drives a car and a professional driver.) Congrats!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! I should have provided a glossary but it was getting late, so... (Damn but those Schützes must be a big family!)

      Perhaps over the weekend.

      High praise, thanks Beans.

      Delete
    2. I was beginning to think that Austrians are the Southern Bubbas of the Germanic World. Austria being Alabama or something...

      Then comprehension occurred.

      D'oh!

      Delete
    3. Hahaha!

      As to the bubba thing...

      No comment.

      Delete
    4. Some years ago a friend of mine whose family is from Sicily and I started laughing when we think in Europe and America the Northerners always look down on the Southerners.

      And it’s true!

      Delete
  12. Double approval for the roster (or other lists of things for stories). It helps the author easily track things in the midst of writing.

    It is odd to me today to think of a time when automatic weapons were not ubiquitous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oddly enough, one of my favorite time periods in military history was when the flintlock musket was the weapon of choice.

      Nowadays, it's gotta be at least semi-automatic to be worthwhile. Well, unless you're a sniper I suppose.

      Delete
    2. There is much to be gained by reducing the manipulation of your weapon in a fight; even a sniper engagement.
      Boat Guy

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    3. The number of steps required to load and fire a flintlock are almost mind-numbing, though fairly straightforward with much practice. Now do it with someone shooting at you. Or the touchhole is fouled and the main charge didn't ignite, or the flint is worn and you get no spark.

      Almost sounds like a weapons system doomed to failure, but it lasted two centuries and was better than any of its predecessors!

      Delete

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