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POLL: Close-Quarter Combat in WWII


417 votes were cast.


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Jemima Fawr Inactive Member writes:

This has been discussed to death before, but the massive casualties incurred by mortars were generally a steady drip-drip-drip of daily, attritional casualties from harassing fire, catching men on the move and out of their tanks/foxholes. The majority of casualties suffered by British armoured regiments in Normandy were suffered in this manner and not from anti-tank fire.

The same was true of casualties on the Western Front in WW1 the daily drip-feed of attritional losses suffered by units not in contact added up to a collossal number over time, making the first day of the Somme seem like an insignificant blip in the statistics.

These 'damned lies and statistics' then lead to the incorrect belief that the main source of casualties in battle (i.e. actual contacts between the opposing forces) was from mortars and that the forces rarely made actual close-contact. There are countless unit reports and histories from Normandy alone that give the lie to that supposition.


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VOTING RESULTS
AnswerVotes%Chart
yes, I agree
204
49%
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no, I disagree
141
34%
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no opinion
72
17%
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POLL IS CLOSED
POLL DESCRIPTION

Writing in Miniature Wargames, Grant Elliott explains...

Most casualties [in WWII] were inflicted by mortars, artillery fire and mines; the rest by machine-guns (MGs) and snipers. Very few were shot by ordinary riflemen...

...and suggests...

I think this also demonstrates that units tended to pull-out before serious close-quarter combat.

Do you agree?