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"Mixed tanks within a unit?" Topic


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World War Two on the Land

994 hits since 12 Apr 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Apr 2019 2:17 p.m. PST

I traded for some British armor and have a good piece of a Regiment. What I have is all Cromwells. Would a regiment with troops of different tank types have been seen in '44?

I could fill out the collection with some excess Shermans I already have laying around.

Won't stop me from doing it, I just wonder how much the grognards might howl?

Onomarchos Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2019 2:28 p.m. PST

Cromwells served in the armoured recce regt of the 11th and Guards Armoured Divisions. The main tank for these divisions was the Sherman with a few Stuart V or VIs.

Mark

pzivh43 Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2019 4:27 p.m. PST

I thought 7th Armored Div had Cromwells, too, in its Armored regiments?

Onomarchos Supporting Member of TMP12 Apr 2019 4:34 p.m. PST

The 7th was an all Cromwell division (except for Fireflys), so would not be a solution for him.

Mark

raylev312 Apr 2019 8:39 p.m. PST

The question should be is whether or not they would have deployed together in combat…since we play our units deployed in combat.

A division may have two types, but would a regiment have mixed two tanks types….I'd kinda' doubt it because it would have created resupply problems for mechanical parts and ammunition.

Martin Rapier12 Apr 2019 11:32 p.m. PST

The Cromwell regiments in 7th AD were eventually issued Fireflies instead of Challengers, but the short answer to the OP is no. You aren't going to find mixed troops of Cromwell and Shermans in the same regiment.

Starfury Rider13 Apr 2019 5:05 a.m. PST

Yes, you're going to have a hard sell for a single Squadron fielding both 75-mm Cromwells and 75-mm Shermans. Sticking within historical parameters you can have 75-mm Cromwells supplemented by either 17-pr Shermans or 17-pr Challengers.

Re the ammunition supplies mentioned above, when you look at the range of weapons in a typical Armd Regt, it presented a QM's nightmare in many respects. If you've got an average Armd Regt running both Shermans and Stuarts, you'd be looking at 75-mm, 17-pr and 37-mm amn for main guns, then .30-cal and possibly .50-cal for tank mounted MGs, plus 9-mm, .38-inch for Stens and pistols, plus .303-in for Brens and rifles.

In a Cromwell Regt you can add 95-mm for the CS tanks, and 7.92-mm for the Besa MGs. And that doesn't even consider the subtypes of main gun and MG amn.

And then there's your engines…

Gary

Korvessa13 Apr 2019 11:20 a.m. PST

Doesn't it kind of depend on how far you are abstracting?
This platoon represents the 3rd tank regt.
This platoon represents the 4th tank regt sort of think.

This doesn't bother my regular opponent.
of course, I am a soloist

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP14 Apr 2019 3:40 a.m. PST

You might find this helpful, a listing of tanks in the 21st Army Group in June 1944. link
As noted, except for the Fireflies in 7th AD, Shermans and Cromwells were not mixed in the same Regiment.

And someone might mention it but doubt they would refuse to play :)

Griefbringer14 Apr 2019 8:17 a.m. PST

Re the ammunition supplies mentioned above, when you look at the range of weapons in a typical Armd Regt, it presented a QM's nightmare in many respects.

Don't forget the 20 mm ammo required for the AA troop at the regimental HQ.

Of course for the ease of logistics these used the Crusader chassis that was no longer in common use in the armoured units.

Zinkala14 Apr 2019 8:53 a.m. PST

Even if the regiment doesn't mix Cromwells and Shermans couldn't you have some Cromwells from the division recce element working alongside Shermans for some battles? So that they are both at least usable at the same time?

28mm Fanatik14 Apr 2019 5:20 p.m. PST

I just wonder how much the grognards might howl?

Who cares? They can howl at the moon until they get hoarse from all the baying. People mix squadrons of Cromwells and Sherman V's in FOW all the time. The minimum number of tanks in each squadron is 8, two troops (platoons) of 3 plus 2 HQ tanks, so all you need is 16 tanks (8 of each type) for a formation.

And who can say it never happened? Ad hoc mixed battlegroups can happen in any army.

Skarper14 Apr 2019 10:56 p.m. PST

It's a game so anything goes. It's not routine to have mixed AFV types in the same unit. Logistics being the main limiting factor.

Footslogger15 Apr 2019 2:44 a.m. PST

Don't let it stop you actually having a game!

Martin Rapier15 Apr 2019 10:55 a.m. PST

"and who can say it never happened? Ad hoc mixed battlegroups can happen in any army."

Given the way that Shermans and Cromwell were allocated (to completely different units and formations), it would be extremely unlikely.

Martin Rapier15 Apr 2019 11:19 a.m. PST

Sorry, meant to add.

11th AD starting operating as two square brigades each of two Armoured and two infantry brigades, so a Sherman and Cromwell regiment would be in the same Brigade, but then they were paired with an infantry battalion so the combat teams would tend to be swapped infantry companies and Armoured squadrons under the respective Armoured and infantry HQs, rather than the (unpaired) Armoured regiments swapping squadrons.

So at Brigade level, Shermans and Cromwell operated together in some cases, but again regimental and below, almost certainly not.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP15 Apr 2019 12:17 p.m. PST

To clarify, I was wondering about a regiment with, say, half the troops made up of Cromwells and half Shermans. But it looks like answer is no in either case.

That said, it won't stop me doing it if the game calls for it, but looks like I may need a couple dozen cromwells to finish off the unit…

Zinkala15 Apr 2019 12:18 p.m. PST

Do you have a link to anything about recce SOP for the armoured divisions? I know almost nothing about how they were used. I've read about infantry, jeep and other light vehicle patrols but not about using tanks. Curious if/how it would differ.

Mark 115 Apr 2019 12:19 p.m. PST

So at Brigade level, Shermans and Cromwell operated together in some cases, but again regimental and below, almost certainly not.

Except that a Cromwell battalion (below regimental level) would have some Sherman Fireflies, and a Sherman battalion might be fighting alongside divisional recce, which operated Cromwells.

My point here being only that staying to historical plausibility may not be an all-or-nothing choice. There may be some limited cases where mixing does make sense, if the mixing is done thoughtfully.

It's a game so anything goes.

We can look at it a few different ways. One way, which FoW seems to encourage (or at least how it has been practiced in the FOW games I've watched) might be summarized as: if you have it, you can justify putting it on the table.

Another way, perhaps closer to the "howl to the moon" grognards' hearts, is "if it isn't in the official ToE / KStN, you can't field it".

For myself, I am closer to the latter than the former. I don't necessarily feel a need to conform to official ToEs, but I do want some historical basis for the combination of forces I put on a game table. These are not just cool looking checkers pieces to me, they are an effort to "play" the history of warfare of my father's and my own generations. So I wouldn't put a Sherman V, a Firefly, and a Cromwell on the table just because I happen to have those three models, unless I had a well constructed, historically plausible scenario that gave good cause for those 3 tanks to be present at the same time. To me, putting them together would be about the same as having JS-IIIs and Crusaders working together with a flight of SM.79s on call. Yes, I have the models. But I'll pull them out for different games, thank you very much, and won't try to put them on the table together just because I have them.

Your tankage may vary.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

28mm Fanatik15 Apr 2019 2:42 p.m. PST

My personal "tankage" preference is to keep tanks the same type whenever possible. That's not a problem in TY as I have approximately 15-20 of each type of Soviet tanks (T-72A, T-64A & most recently the T-62M). I have fewer NATO tanks but still more than I need in most 100+ point games without mixing different types since their points costs are generally higher than those of the Soviet/Warpac forces.

When I get into FOW V4 this summer I expect no different. Other than being more historical and less gamey, homogeneity makes things flow faster.

Lee49415 Apr 2019 10:00 p.m. PST

We are after all talking about war "gaming" here! Cheers!

Andy ONeill16 Apr 2019 1:58 a.m. PST

I like to be within shouting distance of "reality" but the purpose of the game is entertainment. If it makes it more interesting to have a mix of stuff that is unlikely then I'll probably go with interesting.

Most common infractions?
I use more tanks than would be very likely and in smaller numbers.

Martin Rapier16 Apr 2019 9:40 a.m. PST

Well, I'm working on converting the CD scenario covering the breakout from the Neerpelt bridgehead, so you've got the Irish Guards battlegroup (paired Sherman and infantry regiment), but also a squadron of Cromwells from 15/19 Hussars supporting the Devonshires. Units from three completely different divisions all operating in very close proximity with a mix of Shermans and Cromwells.

My main problem is a shortage of Jagdpanzer IV L48s for the Germans.

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