Friday, November 10, 2017

German 352 Infantry Division, Normandy

352 German Infantry Division - suggested ORBAT for
HEXBLITZ

A reader indicated he would like to see what the 352nd Infantry Division, whose ORBAT I suggested in my last posting, would look like. The above picture shows what I had in mind.  

The blue dice show the strength points by units. Each base line strength point represents 2 infantry or pionier companies, 30 AFVs, or 24 pieces of ordnance. These have been modified by unit for their 'regular' status (+1), and in some cases for small numbers (-1). The grenadier regiments are organised as single entities, rather than 2-stand battalions @ SP=2. I have beefed up the Fusilier battalion to SP=3, even though it has only 2 stands, on account of its 'veteran' status (the rest are 'regular').  I admit that is something of a guess, but I gather the Fusilier battalions were a little ... extra.
...


I simply could not take just the one picture...
The 'Regimental' infantry guns and PaK have been grouped together as single 'units'. Both units 'should' be under command of the regiments, but at this scale, the numbers would be too small to be represented. Rather than lose them altogether, I have consolidated them under Divisional Command. After all 6x15cm sIG plus 14x10.5cm leIG aren't to be omitted lightly. The Division had only 9 PaK40, 3 per regiment. Even 9 would have been subsumed, given the stand, vehicle and artillery scales I mention above.

At that I perceive that I might have short-changed the Division's artillery strength points.  22 'regular' infantry guns ought to have SP = 2 (22 guns, regular crews). Artillery Regiment 12x15cm howitzer plus 36x10.5cm howitzer, with regular crews indicate an SP=3.  Finally the PaK company is correct with 1 SP (0 [baseline] + 1 [regular] -1 [small numbers - 9 only].  However, if we supposed the artillery crews were merely 'trained', then we'd have the SPs as pictured.
Could I?  The red die signified the LOG
capacity of the 'supply column'.


The AT/AA Abteilung has been treated in similar fashion to the consolidated PaK 'company'. For a fully tracked self-propelled AA vehicle, a 37mm half-tracked vehicle has been substituted. I simply don't have any of these...
single 20mm AA cannon mounted on Pz38(t) chassis

As the AT Abt has 3 such disparate companies, the best I could come up with was to depict each with SP =1 (0 [baseline, small numbers] +1 [regular]).




I have given 352 Division 'regular' status, as it does seem to have been the best organised and equipped infantry formation defending the beaches at Normandy. The remaining Divisions varied in quality, the static formations and 'Ost' battalions probably not even warranting 'Trained' status. Others, somewhat more mobile/ manoeuvrable/ militarily functional we might consider 'Trained'.

17 comments:

  1. Really enjoying reading this series of posts and the different directions and approaches you are considering.

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    1. It's quite an exercise, there being so many possibilities. Incidentally, barring the Marders and SP AA, I used to have 352 Division organised for "Command Decision", which gave me 21 4-stand rifle companies, 7 'Weapons' companies, 2 StuGIIIs, 3 Marders; 2 15cm howitzers, 6 10.5cm howitzers; 3 7.5cm liIGs (1 per regiment); 3 15cm sIG (battalion guns), 3 PaK40s (battalion guns), plus a pioneer Abteilung.

      Unfortunately, it never saw table top action. Pity.

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    2. Ion,
      My only comment would be to consider what size games you intend for these type of formations.
      If you intend say 352nd Inf v landing forces (2x US divisions) the above would work well. If however you were looking to get Omaha, Utah and the U.S. para sections all on one table, with maybe 8 divisions or similar, then I suspect all the small 0sp elements would become a hindrance.
      As a former CD player, one of the things I found dragged in games was all the little support elements. This was especially true when you fielded substantial forces. I found keeping track of the single sp mortar stand in a formation of 10 individual tank stands tedious. One of the things I like about operational rules, such as Megablitz is that such stands are best modelled into the abstract sp system and so you are only modelling the key teeth arms in a battalion formation. It also allows support such as supply to play a proper role; in my CD games I found I rarely used the supply roles as I was too busy fiddling with Inf support stands to remember the supply rules.
      A wise man once wrote that a player can deal with maybe 8-14 "elements"; too few and there is often too little to do so less engagement, too many and the player is swamped in making decisions. The "Goldilocks" zone is somewhere around 10-12 elements.
      As I say just MHO. In the argot of Runequest YGMV ( Your Game May Vary)!
      Neil

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    3. You are right, Neil, an I am conscious of the considerations you mwention. That organisation would represent a scale a degree smaller than that I'm envisaging for Operation Uranus, or even the game that led to my previous posting. I have to admit I'm rather looking at multiple scales, here, and would be as well to concentrate on the 'Uranus' scale.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. The Operation Uranus game we have in mind will be a test of that '8-14' elements guideline: a much larger number of elements, even on the Romanian side. Maybe that was why my CD Russian Mechanised brigade did so well: plenty of kit on the table, but, with command no lower than battalion level, easy to make decisions. Virtue though it is, flexibility does require a certain mental agility and the judgement to go with it. One can, therefore, have too much flexibility...

      On the other hand, we are getting towards games that look a little like board war games, and they frequently required more that 14 elements a side. We might well be in 'suck it and see' country, here!
      |Cheers,
      Ion

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  2. Archduke Piccolo,

    It really helped my understanding of what you are doing to see this division arrayed in all its glory.

    That is quite some Infantry Division! Compared to my Luftwaffe Feld Divisione it is probably close to three times as big!

    I would seriously bear in mind what Neil Patterson wrote in his comment. Most players can handle up to twelve units/elements with ease, but more than that and things can begin to get difficult.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. You are right, of course, and I rather noticed this when I posted the article. But I think it did help in several respects. In the scale above, the 'little support elements' may be consolidated at corps level (Romania III Army) or even Army level (Soviets).

      For example, At the moment I have a Ronamian Army Corps comprising 2 divisions at 6 elements apiece (SP=6), plus, as Corps troops, 1 artillery element (SP=2) , 1 light antitank element (SP=2), and 1 PaK anti-tank (SP=1), plus HQ (SP=1) and LOG 3 (Pack horses and wagons, I think).

      I want to discuss those 6-element Divisions more at length another time.

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  3. Archduke Picccolo,

    You can see images of my MEGABLITZ German Infantry Divisions here, here, and here.

    Their frequent opponents - the Soviet 66th Army - can be seen here.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. Thanks, Bob. I'll certainly be looking those up!

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  4. Very very intersting.I have a copy somewhere of Megablitz..need to pick it e where could we find Hexblitz?

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    1. A copy of HEXBLITZ, Bob Cordery was good enough to send me by email. I don't believe it was ever published, and I'm not sure that Bob actually developed it as fully as he might have intended. I think my next order of business is to play a game of HEXBLITZ on my new Hex Board. But I've been putting together some terrain pieces for it...

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    2. Marfac70,

      A PDF of the original HEXBLITZ rules can be found here.

      You might also find the battle report I sent to Ion informative. That can be found here.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    3. Thanks a lot Bob! This file Will update my Bonus rules treasure.already got all' Portable Wargame books.😉

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    4. MacFac70,

      I'm glad that you have found my books useful, and hopefully you'll get similar enjoyment from reading - and possibly using - my HEXBLITZ rules.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. Hi, just to echo the comments above, you need to be a bit careful doing all the fiddly bits or you just end up with loads of 'stuff' to move around which gets in the way of the game. If you add them in for the Germans, then when you get to the Allies it all gets a bit horrendous.

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    1. H'mmm... I hadn't got round to considering the Allies. Good point.

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