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"Ammunition type loadout by tank, by date" Topic

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©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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4th Cuirassier05 Dec 2017 7:20 a.m. PST

Does anyone have a source or link that shows what component of various tanks' ammo loadout was what?

If a tank or gun has a choice of different rounds, the gamey thing to do is always fire the best, so I'm after a way of limiting the availability of the best along – as far as possible – historicalish lines. Eg the supply of APCBC for the US 76mm was very constrained IIRC. So it shouldn't be feasible for one side to just blaze away with an endless supply of APCBC. The idea would be to conserve it for greatest need.

So I'm after some stats if anyone knows a link or indeed others' approaches to this question.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Dec 2017 8:11 a.m. PST

One challenge is "constrained" in war time may not be much of a limit in game terms. 12 rounds may feel awful constrained in real life but not in a 10 turn game. So no matter how much they "really" carried, if you want to limit it, most of the time you have to reduce the amount anyway (as in, you shot a lot off before the game started and now you only have 2 left).

Garand05 Dec 2017 8:36 a.m. PST

It wasn't APCBC that was rare for the 76mm in WWII, but rather the HVAP which was a different animal (tungsten cored AP round). Most went to the TD units, though some found their way to tank units.


4th Cuirassier05 Dec 2017 8:38 a.m. PST

Well, yes. If one is working with turns of abstract length then you'd abstract the ammunition supply.

But it seems worth the effort to me.

I'm also a bit puzzled about 20mm and other autocannon. Was it possible to load several different rounds into the same clip, as was done with MG belts?

andysyk05 Dec 2017 8:42 a.m. PST

A lot of old WW2 rules before the "glossies" used to cover this sort of allocation in game terms.
In reality how was such ammo supplied? How many cases of superior ammunition were delivered to each division/brigade/battalion? or did some units get it all and others none?
Indeed was it available to everyone? It would be just as justifiable to allow none in games.
As for conserving it? I think if you had it you would use it, you want to kill that enemy AFV NOW before it gets you, unless of course such ammo came with a only to be used when ordered order. In which case it would very rarely be used.

andysyk05 Dec 2017 8:46 a.m. PST

Most 20mm ammo would be preloaded in clips and recharging the clips by hand would be a pain.
Of course you could use alternate clips.
That's very low level detail though.

Skarper05 Dec 2017 9:13 a.m. PST

This site loads a bit slowly [for me anyway] but it is a mine of information and seems to be reliable. A good place to start from anyway. Sometimes I think you get a breakdown of ammo by type, but often just a total. [checked a couple of pages and you just get a total]

I think you'd want a dice roll or card draw of some sort to see if the ammo type was available. The time scale of your game and whether a shot is one round or several will influence what the probability would be. Also how much record keeping are you prepared to put up with.

But I agree. HVAP was available for the US 76mm guns and made them much more effective, but their supply was limited and would be kept for when they were needed. Germans had some APCR Tungsten core ammo but it was rare. Other ammo that IMO should be limited is smoke and HEAT rounds. Also some vehicles had relatively few HE or AP rounds because of their primary role.

wrgmr105 Dec 2017 9:59 a.m. PST

I just finished reading "Tank Action" by David Render of the Sherwood Rangers.
They would overload as much MG and 75mm ammo as they could, crammed into every spare space.
Additionally they had the philosophy of using HE against larger German Tanks such as Panthers and Tigers. The rational being they could get 3 rounds of HE of in the time the Germans could only get 1 round off. The HE might break a track, put a vision port out of commission and generally stun the crew.

In one encounter with a Panther they did just that hitting it with 4 HE in the time it took the Panther to fire 2 rounds. All the HE rounds hit the Panther, while it's rounds missed and it backed away out of the fight.

What I am saying is there is a regulation number of rounds each tank would carry, but each crew would decide for themselves how much of what to carry.

Lion in the Stars05 Dec 2017 2:39 p.m. PST

I think the simplest way is to have something like a Crew Quality check, either as part of your shooting action or as a separate roll. Fail the Quality check and that was the last round of the special type.

After all, how long has it been since your last ammo resupply?

With a dice-pool system like Ambush Alley, I like the Fog of War cards that give a -1 die penalty to the shooting pool as troops and vehicles run low on ammo. This applies on top of the 'no more special rounds' rule.

Lee49405 Dec 2017 3:29 p.m. PST

Of course there is a simpler solution. Just assume the crew is going to fire the best ammo for the job at hand. You can go nuts getting granular with this stuff. Just try looking at PanzerFaust production and dividing by infantry available. Surprisingly low number never reflected in most rules. Cheers

Lion in the Stars05 Dec 2017 8:57 p.m. PST

I'm also a bit puzzled about 20mm and other autocannon. Was it possible to load several different rounds into the same clip, as was done with MG belts?

Certainly possible.

Doesn't seem very common, though. Not even in today's guns.

The only time I know it's done regularly is aircraft guns, where every 5th or 10th round is a tracer. Sometimes you will also get a mix of other rounds in the belt, so 3 rounds ball, 1 round API, 1 round tracer or API-Tracer. Or other mixes.

With all the different .50cal rounds, the US tends to organize them by belts. Ie, one belt is pure AP, one belt is Raufoss SAP-HEI, one belt is SLAP. Though I should clarify that there are still tracers for those rounds, but it's AP tracers in the AP belt, Raufoss tracers in the Raufoss belt, and SLAP tracers in the SLAP belt. I've never heard of mixing Raufoss into a belt of AP, and SLAP fly completely differently so you wouldn't want a mixed belt with them.

shaun from s and s models Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2017 1:33 a.m. PST

i would recomend getting this book
well worth it lots of myths busted as well.

Mobius06 Dec 2017 3:29 a.m. PST

For German tanks they have this thread.

4th Cuirassier06 Dec 2017 8:00 a.m. PST

@ Lee494

I am not sure it makes sense to allow all crews to fire the best round at all times regardless. If the best round were genuinely available all the time it would have been the only one made, and then the question wouldn't arise.

It is mainly an antitank thing. It is unlikely any unit or individual will do so much shooting in a game that they run out of HE or AP. But they could run out of HVAP if that is in short supply, so I am interested in ways to model this.

If there is a limited supply of something it makes sense to limit it in a game, although perhaps abstracting it is the way to go.

Skarper06 Dec 2017 8:27 a.m. PST

I agree with 4th Cuirassier.

Some may think it doesn't matter but some ammunition is very powerful yet highly expensive or rare. For example, unlimited 50mm tungsten core APCR ammunition for a German PaK 38 or PzIIIL would massively increase the value of these guns.

4th Cuirassier06 Dec 2017 8:37 a.m. PST

@ Skarper

Yes. According to Panzerworld the KwK 39 5cm L/60 gun fired five different rounds: AP-HE, APC-HE, two different APCR, and HEAT. These had respective anti-armour performance, at 100m range, of 67, 69, 130, 116 and 180mm.

At 500m the performance falls to 57, 59, 72, 76 and none, because the HEAT doesn't go out to 500m.

A variance in anti-armour performance of 67 to 180mm, or even 57 to 76mm at the longer range, is material. If your Panzer III is firing at a half-track at 500m it would ideally want to load the feeblest of its ammunition choices, because the feeblest will still do the job. But if it loads AP-HE and then suddenly a Matilda appears from dead ground 200m off, this is going to look like a poor choice.

goragrad06 Dec 2017 2:00 p.m. PST

Here is a page with loadouts for Soviet tanks -


HE is the primary ammunition type – tanks were not expected to be primarily fighting tanks. Exception is the T-34/57 which was designed as a tank hunter.

One would expect similar loadouts for other armies in the offensive – defensive postures would presumably have more focus on anti-armor.

That 180mm HEAT for the 5cm is the Stiel-Granate 42 which to my knowledge was used only by anti-tank guns. It is a spigot round that had to be loaded from the muzzle.

As I recall, as with the Allied tungsten core ammo, the Germans also prioritized anti-tank units for its distribution.

Lion in the Stars06 Dec 2017 2:31 p.m. PST

@4th Curiasser: That's why I suggested a Crew Quality check (skill check, whatever) to see if you have any special rounds left after this shot.

Does add a little book-keeping (or worse, markers on table), since you need to keep track of which tank is out of which ammo.

Windy Miller06 Dec 2017 2:47 p.m. PST

It's also worth bearing in mind that the first shot in any engagement would be whatever the crew had loaded. There's no time to unload an HE and replace it with an AP round if a Tiger comes bimbling around the corner. You fire what you've got and follow it as quickly as you can with what you need!

Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2017 4:28 p.m. PST

I am not sure it makes sense to allow all crews to fire the best round at all times regardless. …

Quite agree with 4th Cuirassier on this.

The German long 50mm gun is a great example. If we allow the "best" ammo to be used as a general guideline, then we are saying that the Pz IIIL was 100% superior to a T-34 (in armor and gunpower) and was a sure-fire killer of KV-1s.

I don't think that this models what history tells us about the Eastern Front tank combat. In fact the Germans took extraordinary measures in 1942 to find a gun that they could mount on a tracked chassis which could effectively deal with Russian armor. The initial Marders, with captured Russian 76.2mm guns re-bored to accept new German ammunition were not created just to address a question of economics, but a question of need. The upgunning of the Pz IV was not done because "well, why not?" but because "we need to do something!".

This is actually my first test for most WW2 tank combat rules: show me how Pz IIIs face off against T-34s. If the rules simply state that Pz IIIs are the superior tank, I reject them. If the rules don't show how Pz IIIs can win against T-34s I reject them. If the rules show me how Pz IIIs are out-gunned and out-armored, but can still win against T-34s, then they are worth further consideration.

And to be clear, there were reasons that APCR (or HVAP in US Army parlance) was so rare. Somewhere beyond 3,000fps regular steel becomes an unreliable penetrator. It is too prone to shatter at the massive shock levels of such high velocities. So harder steels are used,with tungsten being the most frequent choice. The problem is that this steel is 1) rare, and 2) used for other key things, notably including machine tools. If you shoot your supply of tungsten out the barrel of guns as ammunition, then you don't have the tool-and-die material to continue making more ammunition (or ball bearings, or barrels, or engine cylinders, etc. etc.). It is a monumentally poor decision to shoot it out of barrels unless you have a sufficient supply to be able to afford that luxury.

When the Germans moved to expand industrial production at the end of 1942, it required that they shut down production of APCR ammunition (and APCNR as well). They made a few more prototype rounds, but in general by 1943 they were shooting off the existing supply, with no more coming down the pipeline.

The US on the other side had trouble ramping up production of tungsten-cored HVAP ammunition. Not that the US couldn't access enough tungsten, but that it took time to ramp up. Again, until the supplies were assured any tungsten used in ammunition meant slowing the expansion of wartime production.

As an example on the US side, here are the production numbers for the TOTAL HVAP projectiles for the 3-inch and 76mm guns in US Army service. Both guns fired the same projectile, but the cartridges (and so the finished ammunition) were different.

Month/Year…..3-inch HVAP…..76mm HVAP

Sep 1944………1,000………..1,000

Oct 1944………2,000………..1,000

Nov 1944………5,000………..5,000

Dec 1944………5,000………..5,000

Jan 1945………7,000………..6,000

Feb 1945………6,000………..6,000

Mar 1945………3,000………..9,000

Apr 1945………3,000………..5,000

May 1945………….0………..6,000

In addition to this there was an initial batch sent by air for in-theater testing of 1,000 each of 76mm (July) and 3-inch (August). Whatever was left over from the testing was also distributed as ammunition to the troops.

Normal factory-to-troops supply for the US Army in ETO ran about 10 weeks. So from about August to about November, 1944, there was less than 1,000 rounds of HVAP of each caliber, to be shared among several hundres of tanks (Sherman 76s were still not very numerous) and several thousands of tank destroyers. All of the 3-inch went to the TDs (as no tank carried that gun), the 76mm rounds seem to have been distributed between tank units and TD units. Still, we are discussing here fewer than 1 round per vehicle available in theater over a period of 2+ months!

In effect what you will see in this case is not so much "We carried this many HVAP rounds as part of our normal loadout" as it was "One time we got a few of the new 'hot' rounds. They passed 'em out among the guys … about 2 or 3 per tank. Didn't see another one for months!". So yeah, the idea that anyone could shoot off as much as they needed is rather a stretch.

… so I am interested in ways to model this.

If there is a limited supply of something it makes sense to limit it in a game, although perhaps abstracting it is the way to go.

Me too.

What I have tried in my gaming, that seems to work pretty well, is to have each unit (platoon) throw 1D6 or 1D10 at the start of the game to indicate their stock of APCR / HVAP. The die is turned down every time it is used, until the count runs out and the die is removed.

The same approach can be used for tanks which might have carried some small quantity of HEAT rounds, such as T-34s in 1942 (before they got an effective "arrowhead" APCR round) and US Shermans armed with 105mm howitzers. Because HEAT was not as limited in supply, I might do 1D20 for a unit.

This of course relies on having rules that cover various types of ammunition. The rules I use do.

It isn't perfect, because unit commanders can't teleport rounds among tanks to ensure any one tank that needs the ammo has the ammo, and in fact unit commanders shouldn't even know how many are left around the unit during the actual heat of action. But it gives some flavor for the precious rare "hot" rounds with a minimum of administrative burden on the game.

At least that's what my research has shown me, and how I have addressed the issue. Your mileage may vary.

(aka: Mk 1)

Mobius06 Dec 2017 5:16 p.m. PST

Yes. According to Panzerworld the KwK 39 5cm L/60 gun fired five different rounds: AP-HE, APC-HE, two different APCR, and HEAT.

Hold the boat on this. Ammo evolved over time so the AP-HE (Pzgr 38) and the APC-HE (pzgr. 39) were not available at the same time. The APCR round also evolved from an early round to an improved round. They weren't used at the same time (unless some were left over when a new supply was taken.)
The HEAT round was late war and it was the Stiel-Granate 42 which was a muzzle loaded stick bomb with a range of 100 meters or so. It was used by open topped and AT guns. No tank could use it.

I wrote an algorithm for ammo use for Panzer Command that took into account penetration, accuracy and number of rounds available. It also factored in the least penetration needed to defeat the armor of the target so over penetration of light armor didn't soak up rare APCR.

Lion in the Stars07 Dec 2017 3:54 p.m. PST

Hold the boat on this. Ammo evolved over time so the AP-HE (Pzgr 38) and the APC-HE (pzgr. 39) were not available at the same time. The APCR round also evolved from an early round to an improved round. They weren't used at the same time (unless some were left over when a new supply was taken.)
The HEAT round was late war and it was the Stiel-Granate 42 which was a muzzle loaded stick bomb with a range of 100 meters or so. It was used by open topped and AT guns. No tank could use it.

OK, so ammo load would be Pzgr 38 AP-HE and early APCR (plus HE) OR Pzgr 39 APC-HE and late APCR (plus HE).

Starfury Rider08 Dec 2017 3:01 a.m. PST

These are example figures giving the expected ammunition load of Sherman and Grant tanks, taken from 1943 2NZEF figures, which should in turn be based on British (8th Army) totals for the Med theatre circa November 1942;

75mm (GRANT) in tanks or with gun 81 (42 AP, 32 HE, 7 smoke); in Unit Tpt 100 (50 AP, 40 HE, 10 smoke); 2nd Line Tpt 160 (84 AP, 62 HE, 14 smoke).

75mm (SHERMAN) in tanks or with gun 102 (50 AP, 40 HE, 10 smoke); in Unit Tpt 100 (50 AP, 40 HE, 10 smoke); 2nd Line Tpt 160 (84 AP, 62 HE, 14 smoke). Note that there is an error here as on tank says 102 total but comes to an even 100. There is an updated table from August 1943 which may incorporate the correction and says;

75mm (SHERMAN) in tanks or with gun 102 (50 AP, 42 HE, 10 smoke); in Unit Tpt 100 (50 AP, 40 HE, 10 smoke); 2nd Line 100 (50 AP, 40 HE, 10 smoke).

A footnote states that smoke may be replaced by HE.

Figures for the 37-mm in the Grant or on the Stuart are not broken down by ammunition type.

37mm (STUART) in tanks or with gun 103; in Unit Tpt 100; 2nd Line 100.

37mm (GRANT) in tanks or with gun 80; in Unit Tpt 80; 2nd Line 100.

And from the German side this is for a late war (1944-45) Panzer Coy of 17 tanks (PzIV or Panther) under KStN 1177(fG) of Apr44.

For Kw.K.40 main gun (PzIV)
7,5-cm Pzgr.Patr.39; 1020 (makes 60 per tank)
7,5-cm Pzgr.Patr.40; 323 (makes 19 per tank)
7,5-cm Spgr.Patr.34; 1037 (61 per tank)

For Kw.K.42 main gun (PzV Panther)
7,5-cm Pzgr.Patr.39/42; 1190 (makes 70 per tank)
7,5-cm Spgr.Patr.42; 1190 (70 per tank)

I've not seen anything else for the Br/CW or German, and nothing at all for US or Red Army. Note these were the 'by the book' ammunition allowances and actual combat loads would vary dependent on circumstance, but might be interesting to some.


Mobius08 Dec 2017 6:17 a.m. PST

@Lion in the Stars

OK, so ammo load would be Pzgr 38 AP-HE and early APCR (plus HE) OR Pzgr 39 APC-HE and late APCR (plus HE).

Yes, at some time during the war.

But, they didn't phase in together the same day. Each type had their own introduction day. The introduction day might not be the same for all units as well. The Russians seem to have tested 50mm AP-HE and APC-HE when the Germans indicate they used APC-HE from the beginning of Barbarossa.

As for two types of APCR. I wouldn't worry about it. I can't find any source for when an improved APCR was introduced. Plus I cannot find any data that shows any improved penetration. This may be because those testing the round may not document what flavor they were testing.

4th Cuirassier08 Dec 2017 7:04 a.m. PST

@ Mark 1

Interesting, thanks. I like the die tally idea. The only drawback is that there remains the incentive for players to fire off all the good stuff immediately, on the grounds that if you conserve it, you'll be defeated before you get to use it, and hence perhaps because of that. To your point unit commanders shouldn't even know how many are left around, I agree and one of the benefits of converting fire effects tables from books into Excel spreadsheets is that you can hide this level of detail from yourself. I became enamoured of using spreadsheets for wargames about 25 years ago, when I realised that you could use them to conceal the results of naval gunfire from the commanders of opposing fleets (or indeed from yourself if playing solo).

I like LitS's idea of a chance of better than usual AP performance, which can be thought of as an abstract depiction of firing APCR (or whatever).

@ Starfury – thank you so much, that is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for. It seems like a ratio of 5:4:1 for AP:HE:Smoke was standard for those types so that makes a good default assumption for all Allied types. I wonder if the lack of breakdown for the 37mm is that there was no HE or smoke for rounds that small?

Fred Cartwright08 Dec 2017 7:44 a.m. PST


You can always use EDNA to bring some uncertainty to process.
Ever Decreasing Number Allocation

Each unit has a EDNA rating from 1-5. After it uses that particular weapon/ammo/etc roll a d6. If you roll more than the CURRENT EDNA, it decreases by 1.

If the EDNA reaches 0, then the unit is low/out of ammo (depending on the game).

The EDNA lowers quicker the quicker it is lowered, but you still get a low ammo indication ("I'm down to 2!"). It also adds some uncertainty.

Easy to adjust the initial EDNA rating according to how rare the ammo is.

Princeps Namque08 Dec 2017 8:38 a.m. PST

Excellent Starfury Rider and all previous posts.
Me too, that is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

Thomas Thomas Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2017 8:46 a.m. PST

Factoring rare ammo types into games without resorting to complex book keeping is an interesting challenge.

The approach I use in Combat Command is simplistic but effective. Rare rounds (HVAP and similar types) may be used once per game (pretty easy to remember). HEAT generally becomes common enough to not be Rare (though early war it can be Rare).

Some interesting additional considerations should Russian "Arrow Head" be Rare – its more common (though less effective) than HVAP. UK Close Support tanks (7.6S types) were intended to fire Smoke and carried only a bit of HE – should HE be Rare for them? UK APDS seems more common than US HVAP but still probably qualifies as Rare.

Generally most tanks had enough HE/AP to get them through a "standard" game – ammo shortage is reflected by game length – everyone has to eventually stop rearm/rest/refuel so we have turn limits.

Keeping track of every round fired is way to much book keeping for me and it should rarely make any difference.

As to PzIII v. T34s – this is an example of an outgunned/armored tank winning due to better crews and command control (and also tank ergonomics). Its vital that rules cover these areas and that they are at least as important as gun/armor.

Other approachs: raising the critical hit potential of tanks that carried Rare rounds (in Combat Command you need a "10" to get a potential crit – I sometimes consider raising this to "9+" to reflect "special ammo". Squad Leader use to make availablity of HVAP random (you had to roll a really good to hit roll). This reflects the inability of commanders to "order" troops to use what HVAP they have available – it just comes down to luck from a commander's stand point.

Thomas J. Thomas
Fame and Glory Games

4th Cuirassier08 Dec 2017 9:36 a.m. PST

There have been some really thought-provoking posts here so thanks all.

@ Thomas^2: re your observation that UK Close Support tanks (7.6S types) were intended to fire Smoke and carried only a bit of HE, which vehicles had you in mind? I have a source which says the Sexton 25-pdr carrier loaded 87 HE rounds and 18 AP for a total of 105. It doesn't mention smoke at all, although most other vehicles seem to have carried a fair bit.

I think your point about an outgunned/armored tank winning due to better crews and command control (and also tank ergonomics) is also a good one, and relatively easy to model. You could just make it harder, where a die roll is involved, for T34s to spot and hit Panzer IIIs than vice versa.

If one went fully abstract with type of ammo, one could maybe say if the shooter scores better than 20% on a D10, he gets to read the damage off the results table from one column further along, or something…

Andy ONeill08 Dec 2017 10:47 a.m. PST

The sexton wasn't a cs tank.
Early war, there were a number of cs variants of tanks such as the a13.

Starfury Rider08 Dec 2017 12:53 p.m. PST

As Andy says, CS tanks were tanks proper and used in Armd Regts, while the Sexton was a 25-pr gun/howitzer and so province of the Artillery arm.

There are some example figures for CS versions of the Crusader and Matilda (from the same NZ source as previous) when armed with the 3-in howitzer.

3-in CS (Crusader) in tanks or with gun 65; in Unit Tpt 65; 2nd Line 65. All loads split 25 HE and 40 smoke

3-in CS (Matilda) in tanks or with gun 52; in Unit Tpt 52; 2nd Line 52. All loads split 16 HE and 36 smoke.

The original use of CS tanks in British Armd Regts was to provide HE and smoke to complement the gun armed Cruisers. There were differences in 1938-40 but by 1941 the authorised allocation was two CS tanks in Sqn HQ. As the 75-mm became more common there was less requirement for a specialised HE thrower, British Armd Regts in 21AG using the Sherman had no CS models but Cromwell and Churchill equipped Regts had their relevant type of CS tank in Sqn HQ.


Lion in the Stars08 Dec 2017 3:08 p.m. PST

I like Fred's EDNA method. For most of the fancy AP rounds, I think I'd start with the Ammo Number at 3 or 4, unless it's a Tank Destroyer (who would be a 4 or 5).

But again, the challenge becomes tracking multiple different tanks ammo loads. Even the usual platoon of tanks supporting an infantry company (my usual way of playing Flames or Battlegroup) requires some level of bookkeeping or markers on table if you're running special ammo types.

While I've figured out decent 'bogged' (thrown track behind) and 'bailed'/'stunned' (wounded crew outside) markers for tanks, I have yet to figure out a good "low ammo" marker that is attractive. Does someone make tank crew re-arming or similar models?

Wolfhag Supporting Member of TMP08 Dec 2017 3:57 p.m. PST

Another opinion on the special ammo. I read that since the rounds were scarce they would not use them for the first / ranging shot at a target because there was a good chance of missing at over one second time of flight. After the first shot the correction / bracketing greatly increased the chances for the second tungsten round to hit.

Panzer III out fighting a T-34:
So what was the result of the T-34/76's two-man turret, weak optics and poor vision devices German tankers noted "T34s operated in a disorganised fashion with little coordination, or else tended to clump together like a hen with its chicks. Individual tank commanders lacked situational awareness due to the poor provision of buttoned-up vision devices, no radios, directing the driver and preoccupation with gunnery duties. A tank platoon would seldom be capable of engaging three separate targets but would tend to focus on a single target selected by the platoon leader. As a result, T-34 platoons lost the greater firepower of three independently operating tanks". The Germans noted the T-34 was very slow to find and engage targets while the Panzers could typically get off three rounds for every one fired by the T-34.

Based on the above it comes down to better Situational Awareness to detect and shoot first. A buttoned-up and moving T-34 is going to have a tough time spotting a Panzer III that is stalking it on the flanks. If the T-34 first notices the Panzer III after it fired it's first shot the Panzer III can most likely get off two more shots before the T-34 can acquire, rotate the turret, aim and fire its first shot. If the T-34 misses that first shot the Panzer III gets off another one so 4 shots for the Panzer III to 1 for the T-34. That happens all of the time in our games because I'm able to use historic values for weapons platform performance and rate of fire and not random activations and structured IGOUGO game turns.


RudyNelson08 Dec 2017 9:14 p.m. PST

In the 1970s and early 1980s, we did practice on gunnery and ARTEP with a specific round in the tube.
For the M551 it was simple, we put a 152mm round in the tube. However our Vietnam veterans said that depending n the mission location,they might actually run with Beehive in the tube.

M60A1 for the tank Bn. I was an XO in used HEP as normal in chamber but this depended on the mission. HEP was good against both infantry dismounted and BMPs which were common among the Vanguard.
If it was 90% certain that tanks would be the first targets, then some commanders liked SABOT.
For WW2, my guess would be HEP

Skarper09 Dec 2017 12:05 a.m. PST

I agree with RudyNelson though I think HEP is a typo and HE is what most gunners would load in WW2.

They would expect to face threats from infantry and even if the first target was an AFV a near miss from an HE round is probably more effective than an AP round whizzing by. You might not even notice it if closed down.

I actually half remember reading somewhere that US and UK&C tanks normally loaded HE – but I can't remember where.

Soviet Doctrine was also always to have more HE and to load that. They carried far more HE than other types for their 125mm guns in the 70s/80s, and this is based on WW2 experience.

I do suspect the trajectory for the rounds would differ so an HE round would not give a good ranging shot for AP. Maybe if your crew were very experienced they could adjust for any difference but I've no real idea.

In most games the time scale is such that one wargames shot might be up to 5-6 real life shots. So all this is a bit moot.

It occurs to me that the usual load out of scarce and expensive rounds like APCR or APDS is sufficient to engage 1 or 2 tough targets and no more. And I would add that it was probably a morale thing. You MIGHT encounter a Panther and if you do regular AP is useless, but here's a few rounds of HVAP to give you a fighting chance.

Andy ONeill09 Dec 2017 8:08 a.m. PST

That's weird. I posted here and it doesn't seem to have appeared.

HEP is American for HESH. High explosive plastic. I don't know what Rudy intended but HEP wasn't available to US tanks during ww2.

Hesh was invented in Britain during ww2 and intended as a "wallbuster" for reinforced concrete. To take on bunkers and sea walls amongst other things.
It was used as the "flying dustbin" round for the AVRE. I think also in recoilless guns but I'm not sure whether that would be during or after ww2.
Hesh was the standard post war British HE round since it worked vs infantry, houses, tanks and pretty much everything.

Blutarski09 Dec 2017 9:52 a.m. PST

Hi Wolfie -
Isn't it a great feeling when your game mechanics concepts combine to produce a convincing historical result on the tabletop ….. especially in a fairly complicated case like the relationship between the Pzkpfw III and the T34.

Hats off to you.


goragrad09 Dec 2017 4:37 p.m. PST

As to the UK, units equipped with Churchills had one 6lber armed Churchill for every two 75mm gunned Churchills due to its superior anti-armor capabilities. Logically then as AT guns and infantry AT were the primary threat in NW Europe the 75mm gunned Churchills would concentrate on HE.

One would also consider the same to occur with Sherman equipped units with Fireflys and Cromwell units that had Challengers.

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