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Bolt Action: Western Desert Boot Camp Live Blog - Saturday

Bolt Action: Western Desert Boot Camp Live Blog - Saturday

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Scorpions Of The Desert - Infantry Tactics

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Our historical editor Jim (@oriskany) has come over to teach us about the history of the western desert in this mini-series Scorpions Of TheΒ  Desert.

Kicking off, we take a look at some of the Basic Infantry Tactics used in this theatre of war.

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deadhead
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1172xp

great history

lawnor
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11958xp

I’ve never thought about water for hygiene for soldiers as anything other than a luxury before but it makes total sense.

dorthonion
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1529xp

The British/Commonwealth forces had long experience of fighting in desert conditions so they knew all the little tricks. All of it was new to the German forces.

torros
Member
15302xp

The Boys is .55 calibre or about 14 mm Effective firing range
23.2mm penetration at 90Β° 100 yards (91 m),
18.8mm penetration at 90Β° 500 yards (460 m)

kingandcountry
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2642xp

wasn’t the Bren 30 round magazines?

collins
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5280xp

Yes, but usually only 28 put in a mag.

yavasa
Member
4673xp

May I say: “Jolly good show!”

sneakyrabbit
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497xp

Logistics is so important and yet nobody ever things about it.

dukeexeter
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1336xp

Well in smaller scale skirmish game, logistics is not as big a focus. But it still could create an interesting scenario to play out.

sneakyrabbit
Member
497xp

True, but could (and should) matter in a campaign system, and could be scenarios objectives (secure the water, evacuate the train with all the oil on it…)

rot6
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877xp

Im curious. After having watched several historical channels talk about the different squad formations and tactics i noticed that the mg34/42 sometims gets called an lmg and sometimes an mmg. it doesnt really matter historically but in terms of the gaming system you want to use its can be a huge difference. so far i have seen mmgs being restricted in movement, but having more firepower or being able to reduce cover and things like that. @oriskany in perspective of gaming, disregarding the specific ruleset, what would be the colsest to reality role of mg34/42? LMG or MMG? For Chain of Command we concluded that Bipod mounted > LMG, Tripod mounted > MMG Big calibre+tripod > HMG

dukeexeter
Member
1336xp

IIRC the Germans called the MG34/42 an lmg or hmg depending on how it was set up. If a man was carrying in in a squad using the bipod and 50 round drums, it was considered an lmg. When they set it up on the lafeyette tripod and had a dedicated crew of men feeding it loads of ammo, it was considered a heavy machine gun.

I’d say basically, the MG34/42 was the first move toward a more general purpose machine gun, but it wasn’t perfect.

elessar2590
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10209xp

You’re on the right track with the Bipod/Tripod method.

The MG34/42 was a “General purpose” MG. It could be either a LMG or an MMG depending on how you configured it. LMG’s are more maneuverable while MMG’s are more stable and can maintain higher rates of fire (normally lots of exceptions here).

A HMG normally uses a larger caliber of ammunition.

For the Russians this was

DP28 = LMG
Maxim = MMG
DShK = HMG

Lindybeige has a very good video that helped me get my head around it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivYlHU0Zi-I

andre77
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5684xp

Thanks for the insight.

dukeexeter
Member
1336xp

I never realized how much different combat would be in the desert. Like the bit about hygiene and sickness was completely new to me.

elessar2590
Member
10209xp

I imagine combat isn’t all that fun but combat with chafed plums definitely wouldn’t be.

Even something as simple as not washing under your armpits can be incredibly painful after a few weeks

warhammergrimace
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5173xp

Great video

uptrebor
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841xp

Oh dirty little secrets of www they don’t teach you in school

normandyfan
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900xp

Jim is always informative and interesting

aurorainbag
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6110xp

This was really interesting. Thank you

darkdanegan
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9391xp

Absolutely fascinating. Loving these insights!

bigdave
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2561xp

wooo! we love you, Jim!

wilco92
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6548xp

great to hear all about the history

phaidknott
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3897xp

Pretty sure the British only had 1 Bren per squad (can’t find any reference to more other than LDRG perhaps). Another thing to note on the difference between the MG34 and MG42 as a LMG or HMG isn’t “just” if it was bipod or tripod mounted. It was simply the amount of ammo available (although if the MG42 is tripod mounted it was usually in a static role and thus had more ammo easily available).

Another thing to note (and this is usually skipped over) is that the MG34/42 had a tremendous rate of fire. But when employed as a squad support weapon it just didn’t have enough ammo carried by the rest of the squad to sustain it for very long (usually why you see the machine gun in German squads listed as an LMG), so the gunners tended to use it in short 3 round bursts to conserve ammo (although having the option to go full rattle and roll can not be sneered at). The Bren was also VERY accurate (perhaps too accurate) and didn’t disperse rounds over a given area very well. This leads to a debate over the role of the Bren and if it was used as a poor mans suppression weapon, or as a firepower multiplier for the squad (leave that for another day).

somegeezer
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8290xp

It’s nice that the Bolt Action rules reflect this. German MGs get more dice.

macadams00
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561xp

Some times it just pays to be “Anal”

antiphony
Member
811xp

I could listen to this all night.
Thanks

firebuck
Member
764xp

Great video. Very interesting.

aztecjaguar
Member
1546xp

Fascinating discussion about the differences between British and German Infantry in the North African Desert War. Interesting that the Brits were better organized than the Germans regarding hygiene. Perhaps this was from the years of fighting in colonial wars.

Regarding the accuracy of the Bren vs. the MG34/42: I remember watching a documentary about the D-Day Battle of Pegasus Bridge. Apparently a wounded British paratrooper, pinned-down in the middle of a road, survived the continuous but very inaccurate “spray” fire of an German MG34/42. Conversely, as the Bren was much more accurate, the Bren teams would sometimes loosen the screws on the mounting of the bipod for more suppressing fire and wider “spray” effect.

Impressed with Justin’s gaming tactics – trying to giving the opponent a choice of two equally unattractive options: either you run out of time or run out of assets.

Apparently with the Germans using camouflage field uniforms in European, the US restricted their camouflage to the Pacific, with the Marines. Not sure whether the Brits used camouflage uniforms in WW2… but they definitely did on planes, ships and desert vehicles. So, looking forward to @oriskany doing a video or article all about camouflage in WW2!

aztecjaguar
Member
1546xp

Here’s a link
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VXQygRVvEmM
Lindybeige explains it better than I ever could.

skodamarine
Member
3354xp

Fascinating stuff.

toricova
Member
1780xp

very interesting info

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