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What if Germany had Allied quality rifles?

Discussion in 'What If - European Theater - Western Front & Atlan' started by BKB, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. BKB

    BKB Member

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    Instead of the Kar98 and MP40, what would have happened if the Germans had fielded their infantry with likes of the Thompson, and Garand? Or to put it in other words, semi-automatic rifles, not bolt action rifles?
     
  2. No.9

    No.9 Ace

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  3. BratwurstDimSum

    BratwurstDimSum Member

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    Did you mean to say something no.9?


    Good topic mate.

    I went to a militaria show a couple of weeks ago and handled (Drool) a k98. I gave it a very quick try with the bolt and found out just how far the thing went back and forth, it is quite a long action. I think if you have the most accurate bolt-action rifle in the world it DOES equalise for a fairly accurate semi auto garand firing back at you, speed isn't everything because of the inaccuracies a recoil produces.

    Having said that, with a k98 you would still have to take your sights off the target if you missed, go through the action again, take aim and fire, in which your opponent has had an opportunity to shoot at least 4 rounds at you (with a garand, say).

    The German's problem wasn't the quality of their weapons, it was the fact that there were heaps more allied weapons firing back at most times and they were firing more shots back to boot. I don't care how inaccurate you are, if you can fire 4x the rate of your opponent and have at least twice as many mates doing the same as your opponent, (assuming no terrain or dug-in advantage on both sides) sooner or later the guy with the bolt action is gonna get hit!
     
  4. Stefan

    Stefan Cavalry Rupert

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    The way I see it there comes a point where accuracy doesnt matter, after carring out tactical exercises with period weapons it became clear that if you have an enemy position with a few riflemen and they are attacked by a section who move forward with fire support and suppressive fire, the guys in the trench can not fire enough to kill all the enemy, they just keep firing in the hope that maybe there will come a point when the enemy goes prone and will not get up again for fear of being hit.

    Picking off individuals as they approach is not as easy as people seem to think simply because (having experimented with this) once you have fired, by the time you have worked the bolt your enemy is prone again.
     
  5. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Rate of fire and quality of the guns really did not matter.

    This has been discussed before and it is not a matter of fire rate nor accuracy but tactics. German infantry tactics just gave a secondary and supportive rôle to rifles and sub-machine guns becuase all them were meant to support the machine gun in the squad. All German infantry tactics turned around machine guns only, which in this case were far superior than anything the Allies could put in the field.

    So, it really doesn't matter if you can fire 7 rifle bullets in a few seconds with your Garand if you're taking 100 MG-42 bullets in the same time... :rolleyes:
     
  6. BKB

    BKB Member

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    Lol, well an MG42 is a little bit different. Thats probably the finest Machine Gun ever made because of its high rate of fire that surpassed anything of the time.

    Now, the MP40 was a good weapon as well, but it wasn't issued to every soldier. The kar98 was issued to most soldiers. Same for the Americans and the Garand. Senior Non-coms had Carbines, and Officers/Sgts MAY have gotten a Thompson, and we can't forget about the Browning Automatic Rifle as well. All those weapons where automatic and made for excellent suppression with a high rate of fire. Whereas the Germans had bolt-action rifles and without a Mg42 they lacked any sort of suppressing fire. Sure, with full automatic and semi-automatic fire they had less accuracy, but in team work fire that didn't matter when the enemy is suppressed and can't fight back. And when he does fight back hes firing back at less than 1/4 of the firepower.
     
  7. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Welcome to the forum, BKB! ;) Hope you enjoy yourself in here! :cool:

    However, I must disagree with you. Of course MG-42s were not going to be given to every soldier, that's silly. But it was used as the main weapon for the whole infantry squad. Semi-automatic rifles were not needed since there was the machine gun to do all the job. And there was no equivalent in Allied armies to this tactics, nor weapons alike to do it.

    I'm not comparing weapons, because in that case, the rate of fire of the modern Garand is obviously far superior than the Mauser from 1898... but I'm stating that tactics were what really mattered and decided the engagements. Again, who cares about rifles from 1898 if you have tactics from 1945?
     
  8. Greenjacket

    Greenjacket Member

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    The outcome of the war was not decided by small arms.
     
  9. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Two points:

    First, individual rifle fire adds little to overall squad firepower. Thus, the change from a bolt action rifle to a semi-automatic rifle will not make a big change in effectiveness. It is the presence of machineguns and mortars that makes the difference in firepower.

    The second is on rate of fire. It is actually counterproductive to have a very high rate of fire on a machinegun like the MG 42 had. The problem is that that gun ate ammunition at a prodigious rate for little added effect. In the US case, for example, the ROF of the Browning .30 was actually lowered (it could have been as high as 8 - 900 rpm) to 600 rpm to limit ammunition usage. If a squad is toting say, 2000 rounds of ammunition (200 rounds per man except the squad leader and machine gun operator at about 10 pounds in weight) a single MG 42 will use all of it in a mere matter of three or four minutes in heavy usage. At that point the squad is reduced to rifle fire and ineffective for the most part.
    With half the rate of fire this extends to 6 to 10 minutes.
    The Germans were the ones that could ill-afford an extremely high rate of fire weapon on the basis of ammunition availability alone. US squads / platoons could usually rely on the availability of a jeep to aid in hauling ammunition for sustained fights.
    By giving German units semi-automatic rifles this would excerbate this problem even more. It might be very embarrising for a German squad to find itself virtually out of ammunition minutes into a firefight with little hope of resupply.
     
  10. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    What T.A. syas about ammunition expenditure is right. But also we have to consider that it was the high rate of fire what gave the gun its effectiveness and advantages. And given its main rôle in German infantry tactics, along light mortars, it was decisive in the battle field. Not to mention that American 0,30 Brownings were slightly as versatile and effective as the German machine guns. Nobody questions the quality and fire power of a Browning 0,50, but that was simply too unadequate for infantry fighting...
     
  11. BratwurstDimSum

    BratwurstDimSum Member

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    Far cop guys! I read the question as bolts vs semi-autos. Of course tactics and priority over field weapons such as MGs affected outcomes of battles more than ammo usage.


    Also mortars and MGs are well and good but the first weapon that fires and puts the opponent in either a defensive or offensive posture is a Rifle surely? - which brings us to scope, we are just talking small arms here in this thread, lets not bring in every other weapon under the sun, lets stick to BKB's question, small arms: rifles and sub machine guns.

    BTW T.A. Rate of fire does matter, tactically its called supressing fire...if you can keep a man's head down through sheer ROF, while another party advances, it achieves the purpose does it not?

    Oh come on Herr Generale, you can't have it both ways. Either you compare weapon for weapon or you compare unit for unit. My initial arguement was for the latter. You defeated that argument using the squad tactics principal...fair cop mate [​IMG] But now you are back to MG42 vs Garand!

    Ok (terrain advantage aside) if we are talking squads...you are forgetting that on the Western front, the allies outnumbered the Germans at nearly every point. If you have a nearly unlimited and fresh set of troops to pour into the grinder that, on the lowest performance weapon can fire 4 times as fast as the lowest german weapon, the Germans will lose. Tactics aside, it is a statistical fact.
     
  12. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    If we start comparing unit tactics, then it becomes more of an issue of platoon and company tactics than individual squads. A squad rarely operates on its own (patrols and such are about the limit here). In platoon and company actions it is the machine gun and mortar that dominate the action. For the Germans this means their light and heavy mounted MG 34 /42's (and a pair of 8.1cm Stummels (short 8.1's)in some cases).
    For the US it is the .30 and .50 Brownings along with the 60 mm mortar.
    For the British the Bren gun and 2" mortars.
    For the Soviets, the DP and Maxim MG along with 50mm mortars.
    So, these weapons need to be considered as part of the context of this issue.
     
  13. No.9

    No.9 Ace

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    What?………TA is very correct in what he says. The Play Station and Hollywood aside, the infantryman has to carry his ammunition into battle. He can blat everything off in minutes……then what……throw stones?

    If you are in a foxhole you don’t need 900 rounds a minute popping over your head to keep it down, one every couple of seconds is quite enough.

    Desired rate of rife is commensurate with distance, rake of fire and mobility of the target. One accurate bullet can achieve it’s objective just as well as 100. At shorter ranges with a static target you’ve no need to shoot someone 20 times! The greater the distance the greater the incumbent inaccuracy of any bullet, weapon or shooter.

    For a rifleman, having a reliable weapon which self loads is nothing but a positive advantage. The Garand is well regarded in this respect. Equally well respected is the Bren LMG which had a single fire option. However, the Mk.I was deemed ‘too accurate’.

    No.9
     
  14. BratwurstDimSum

    BratwurstDimSum Member

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    Everyone's point is correct here and they are good comments to boot, I think though this is the kind of "length of string" topic which can just go on for ever :rolleyes: . Some are us are arguing squad tactics, some are arguing mortar and artillery support, and I'm arguing gun on gun.

    Its just like the topics where we compare panzer IV with the sherman.

    They're silly topics (but fun [​IMG] )when you think of it because so rarely did one M4 meet one PzIV on a clear day with no air, artillery, troop or other squad support. Yet we talk about it casually like we're comparing a Punto with a Volkswagen Golf.

    Even if we fix a context / scope to the arguement like "ONE GUY WITH GARAND AND 3 BANDOLIERS MEETS ONE GUY WITH A KARBINER 98 WITH 3 BANDOLIERS AT 200 METERS AND SEE EACH OTHER AT THE SAME TIME WITH THE WIND AT 17 COMING FROM THE EAST." Its still going to be a silly arguement huh? [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. wilconqr

    wilconqr Dishonorably Discharged

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    Hard to see how someone has not commented on the Gewher 41, Fallshirmjagergewher 42, or Machinepistol 43/Sturmgewher 44.......although a very menial amount were produced, what if production of "these" weapons were increased???
     
  16. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Good posts, everyone!

    I just want to clearify my posts. Talking weapon versus weapon, there is simply no way to compare an old model as the K-98 with a Garand. The Garand was a far much better weapon simply because it was the most advanced technology at the time and therefore cannot be compared with a bolt-action rifle from the XIX century even as reliable, cheap and accurate it could have been...

    Now, the thread was a what-if. What if the average German foot soldier would have been armed with Garand-like rifles? Obviously, the German infantry units' performance would have improved in a great deal, but not to make decisive turn in battles. And what I've been saying from the beginning is that they did not need to have semi-automatic rifles at all simply because their infantry tactics did not give many importance to rifle fire. And I don't want to mention the lack of technology, resources and infrastructure to build enough of those rifles in the quantities recquired...

    So, it was not possible and not even necesary. The Germans very accurately put all their money in light mortars and very advanced machine guns. That alone brought amazing victories and master deffensive warfare in WWII.
     
  17. Eisenhower

    Eisenhower Member

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    Nazi soldiers were trained to use the weapons they used, I'm sure they could put in 3 rounds to a Garand's 4. I have to agree with Greenjacket in what he posted a while back: the outcome of the war did not depend on small-arms. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Does anyone notice Ambrose's influence here? :rolleyes: :D [​IMG] (Would you mind please calling them Germans, no matter how nazified they were?)

    Indeed, it was quite probable that the average German infantry of 1940, 1941 and 1942 squad could kick almost anyone's ass in the battlefield.

    Does anyone disagree with this? :rolleyes:

    [​IMG] Regards. [​IMG]
     
  19. Eisenhower

    Eisenhower Member

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    Ahem...please excuse me, Herr General. Should I phrase it as soldiers under nazi rule? :confused: No problem with calling them Germans. I was sorta dazed when I posted that, my apologies (and no, Ambrose is not a factor in this ;) )
     
  20. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    No problem, Ike! ;) I was just teasing you! :D

    They were soldiers under nazi rule, soldiers fighting for the nazi régime and soldiers who had grown in nazi Germany and had nazified ideas... And I guess that many had a little pin on their chest with the letters NSDAP. [​IMG]

    But first of all, they were first Germans than nazis. Even if many were nazis and many other weren't Germans... :confused:
     

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