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"British Carrier section" Topic


19 Posts

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Action Log

08 Jul 2018 6:23 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "Britsh Carrier section" to "British Carrier section"


1,014 hits since 7 Jul 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

maciek72 Inactive Member08 Jul 2018 6:10 a.m. PST

I'm trying to figure how Carrier section for 1944 would look like. I would make it in two versions – with all crews mounted and dismounted.

According to this

picture

every carrier has a bren gun
In mounted version I would make three vehicles,
every one with Bren gun projecting from front plate,
and two crews in front compartment and two in the rear
- in the first carrier those in the rear would be armed with 2" mortar
- in the second carrier these would be armed with piat
- in the third, they would be armed with rifles only ? or there sould be additional Bren on anti aircraft mount ?

I the dismounted version I would leave a driver in each carrier and do rest of the crew dismounted, each three of them armed with
- piat
- 2" mortar
- bren

but what to do with brens in the front of vehicles ?
were they left unmanned ? or maybe only two crews dismounted from each vehicle, while third stil operated the bren and fourth remained on his driver's seat ?

What do you think ?

kevanG08 Jul 2018 6:26 a.m. PST

Carrier sections varied depending on where they were and what type of unit they were in.
some units had 4 crew per carrier.

The bren was not fixed….sometimes the other weapon was. The three man crew was effectively a multi tasking weapon crew.

uglyfatbloke08 Jul 2018 6:40 a.m. PST

X2 for Kevan. Really there was so much variation in practice you can have pretty much any combination you like. It was n't unknown to carry a Vickers or even mount a .50 Cal or to discard the 2" mortar in favour of a second Bren or PIAT or to keep the 2" mortar with a small supply of smoke and/or HE as well as having a second Bren or a PIAT…the world's your oyster.

Starfury Rider08 Jul 2018 9:00 a.m. PST

Weapons like the 2-in and PIAT were more for use as required. The chart above illustrates the Carrier Pl as found in the Inf Bn; as noted other users (Motor Bn and Recce Regt) were based on a three-man crew with more emphasis on mounted action.

The four-man crew only appears around 1943 with the Inf Bn. An example dismounted deployment shown in "Infantry Training Part V – the Carrier Platoon" has three LMG teams on the ground, each of the vehicle commander and Bren gunner. The Section Sjt is up with the three LMG teams. The second rifleman from each of carriers 2 & 3 are termed observers, and both stay back with the carriers, as do the drivers and the motorcycle orderly.

Vehicle stowage was recommended as No.38 set on No.1 carrier, 2-in on No.2 and PIAT on No.3. These were to be kept on board unless or until they were definitely required.

Gary

maciek72 Inactive Member08 Jul 2018 9:08 a.m. PST

And is it possible to dimount all three brens and form 9 mem section armed with 3 LMGs ?

Starfury Rider08 Jul 2018 9:38 a.m. PST

No reason not to – unless you've glued them in place!

spontoon08 Jul 2018 10:23 a.m. PST

Two questions;
1.) What is the maximum practical number of infantrymen that could be carried? 4 + driver+ front gunner?
2.) Should one assume that the driver NEVER leaves the vehicle?

Starfury Rider08 Jul 2018 10:39 a.m. PST

Re Q1, it does depend. I think physically you could fit two men in each rear troop compartment without compromising them being able to stay low. It would still take some moving about of kit (it's amazing how much gear they could fit into a carrier). You can probably continue to cram a couple more men in, but it's not going to offer them much protection if they can't stay under the side armour.

Re Q2, as with any vehicle the driver was always urged not to leave the vehicle unattended unless there was an absolute need. There's a wonderful training film of carriers on the AWM website (available via youtube), which suggests he take the time while the crew are off with the LMG to carry out track maintenance while he's able to!

Gary

olicana08 Jul 2018 2:13 p.m. PST

I know something about Boys A/T in 1941.

The Boys A/T rifle was rarely taken anywhere. Indeed, in the desert at least, most were 'lost' as soon as possible because they were useless (for engaging tanks), heavy and caused heavy bruising to the shoulder when fired. If they still had one, they would probably leave it in the carrier.

Martin Rapier08 Jul 2018 10:13 p.m. PST

The carrier was just that, a tracked weapons carrier. Not an APC. Not a tank. Think of it as a jeep or Dodge weapons carrier with tracks.

The crew got out to fight, with whichever weapons were most suitable, generally the Bren. Which didn't stop them fighting mounted on occasion.

The carrier section had the same firepower as a complete rifle company, was very mobile, but had virtually no assault capability at all as it consisted almost entirely of weapons crews.

UshCha08 Jul 2018 10:56 p.m. PST

Think of them as really a mobile support wepon in a
trench. In the american assessment of these it says they get no more effective closer than 400 yds( except for thew PIAT but that need to be deployed on foot to get close enough). That means they can give fire support outside the range of the average rifleman, pazerfaust etc (although the panzerfaust has a static range range of more then 400m its not good at point targets) and it has a radio and it gives foot a radio if they don't have one.

Thus it has some suvivability if used sensibly. It does need the rules to be realistic on ranges which is often a problem.

Its my understanding that thy were often attached out to the infantry, sometimes as low as don to infantry a platoon level, an armoured bren gun as fire support is a LOT of extra firepower and it would have the ability to carry ammo and spares to keep it going for a good while, plus a radio for artillery calls. Proably why so many were made.

Griefbringer09 Jul 2018 1:12 a.m. PST

And is it possible to dimount all three brens and form 9 mem section armed with 3 LMGs ?

I would suggest that this would probably be the most likely arrangement to be found in dismounted action, since it was the most effective anti-infantry weapon that the section had.

2" mortar could be handy if there would be need to fire smoke or illumination rounds, but the HE bomb was not particularly impressive. PIAT was handy if you were expecting to see enemy armour, but otherwise it was PITA that would probably be better left in the carrier until actually needed.

So if you want to cover all the possibilities for the dismounted section, I think you should do three Bren teams, one mortar team and one PIAT team – and when dismounting the section player gets to pick which of those to field. Maybe even allow the Bren teams option to return back to the carriers and switch their weapon to mortar or PIAT.

Mike Target09 Jul 2018 4:18 a.m. PST

Carrier crews seem to have been keen to aquire more weapons when they got the chance – I recall one book (Alamein, war without an enemy? possibly) it mentions a carrier whose crew dismounted at Snipe and had with them, well I forget the exact list, but they had more machine guns than men to fire them and they included Brens, Browings, Vickers K, and possibly a couple of looted Axis weapons as well.

Clearly that crew were firm believes that there was no such thing as too much Dakka! Now they might be an extreme example but It would suggest trying to account for all the possible weapons options might be futile…

Andy ONeill09 Jul 2018 6:48 a.m. PST

I thought they were more likely to fight mounted than dismounted. Unless in planned defence.

Firepower and speed are the platoon's main defence.

The armour isn't up to much and they would withdraw if under machine gun fire they couldn't suppress. The idea of the armour was to give some protection against shrapnel. It's not rifle proof.

Martin Rapier09 Jul 2018 7:55 a.m. PST

"Carrier crews seem to have been keen to aquire more weapons when they got the chance I recall one book (Alamein, war without an enemy? possibly) it mentions a carrier whose crew dismounted at Snipe and had with them, well I forget the exact list, but they had more machine guns than men to fire them and they included Brens, Browings, Vickers K, and possibly a couple of looted Axis weapons as well."

I read that one too. They had two Brens, a pair of rusty .30 Brownings they'd looted from a downed fighter and a pair of captured MG34s. They dug in covering one of the 6pdrs and parked the carrier up.

Starfury Rider09 Jul 2018 9:52 a.m. PST

The front armour was 10-mm thick, the sides and rear 7-mm. It was stated as being proof against shell splinters and normal rifle calibre ammunition, but not specific armour piercing rounds, and was obviously vulnerable to air burst.

Gary

Mike Target10 Jul 2018 12:16 a.m. PST

They dug in covering one of the 6pdrs and parked the carrier up.

Awww…I always had an image in my head of them standing there, guns akimbo , whilst screaming "come get some Fritz!" …

Griefbringer10 Jul 2018 12:34 a.m. PST

They had two Brens, a pair of rusty .30 Brownings they'd looted from a downed fighter and a pair of captured MG34s.

With so many guns, you don't need to worry about changing barrels when they start to heat up – just switch to the next gun over!

Ammo logistics could get interesting, though the British had a good number of US built vehicles using .30 cal ammo, and captured German ammunition might be available every now and then.

I am wondering what sort of mounts they built for the Brownings, though.

olicana10 Jul 2018 3:32 a.m. PST

picture

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