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Ricks Napkin Challenge- The Infantry Section and Platoon

Infanteer

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I would to, I just don’t know how you would ascertain what was more effective. Short of having a trench filled with PAT platoon rating the effectiveness of suppression. I think a figure skating score card system on a stick would be the most expedient.

It's been done before. See attached.

The question on a single mg comes down to what suppresses when it has to move. Ideally it doesn’t but it will and then you’re missing your base of fire unless your assault element is capable of doing it on its own.

Another MG from another team, if there are threats that need to be suppressed. Ideally, you are not having to bound your base of fire.
 

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Infanteer

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@Infanteer @markppcli FWIW the whole down range suppression/effective fire aspect lead the USMC to be swallowed by the Hk IAR siren.
They bought into well aimed fire - and situated the estimate/testing to show that.

That was Eby's thing, wasn't it? A well aimed shot is one thing, but volume has to play some role (this is just me theorizing).
 

KevinB

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That was Eby's thing, wasn't it? A well aimed shot is one thing, but volume has to play some role (this is just me theorizing).
Yup. The fact they could have gotten a slew of upgrades to the M4A1 for 1/3rd the price wasn’t as important and being able to say they had Hk416’s apparently.

I guess it’s important to test worn out SAW’s on a KD and count holes / rounds fired versus brand new test guns in semi auto :rolleyes:

To me the 240/C6 isn’t just volume - but barricade penetration too.
7.62 NATO chews up sandbags, wood, concrete etc much better at most engagement ranges than 5.56.
 

markppcli

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It's been done before. See attached.



Another MG from another team, if there are threats that need to be suppressed. Ideally, you are not having to bound your base of fire.
Interesting read, I suppose I fall back on the idea that suppression is a psychological effect and it’s hard to test without taking that into effect. I’m open to be king wrong there.
 

OldSolduer

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That was Eby's thing, wasn't it? A well aimed shot is one thing, but volume has to play some role (this is just me theorizing).
A few shots are one thing but when there a crap ton of effective fire that’s quite another.

Have we discussed the human element in all this?
 

markppcli

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Or the options beyond the C9 / minime ?

I suppose in general what is actually troubling is that seemingly our allies / estranged colonial parents on both sides have looked at their combat experience and adapted and changed. We fundamentally haven’t.
 

KevinB

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Or the options beyond the C9 / minime ?

I suppose in general what is actually troubling is that seemingly our allies / estranged colonial parents on both sides have looked at their combat experience and adapted and changed. We fundamentally haven’t.
The Brit’s replaced their SA80 LSW with the Minimi - most nations have adopted a 5.55mm SAW at this point.

Outliers would be the Danish who adopted the 7.62 NATO M60E6 as a Section MG.

However most nations have also now adopted a Section/Squad DMR/Heavy Carbine in 7.62 NATO, with Britain being the first. All of them issue it in the Arms Room concept of the soldier also being issued a 5.56mm carbine and using the 7.62mm as required/desires for the theatre.

Time will tell on what the NGSW will prove with the US Army. I think 6.5 Creedmore was a better choice as it’s offers 95% of what 6.8x51 offers without excessive pressures.

Either of those options offer a slightly lighter ammunition load than 7.62mm NATO with slightly longer effective ranges.
 

markppcli

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I mean in that we’ve got allies in the USMC and the British military who have reevaluated the value of the saw / m249 / minime / c9 and gone in other directions. Rightly or wrongly assessing and adopting is a positive attitude.
 

OldSolduer

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WRT the section if you think the C9 is found wanting.

What is the solution? The C6 is a 26 pound gun and its a btich to hump, as many of you know. AND it really needs a number 2 in the Light role just to hump the ammo she eats.

Infanteer has it right I think - a MG being used as a rifle is a misuse of that asset.
 

IRepoCans

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WRT the section if you think the C9 is found wanting.

What is the solution? The C6 is a 26 pound gun and its a btich to hump, as many of you know. AND it really needs a number 2 in the Light role just to hump the ammo she eats.

Infanteer has it right I think - a MG being used as a rifle is a misuse of that asset.
The KAC LAMG/AMG is an interesting solution if we're still hell bent on having an assaulting belt fed weapon in a section at half the weight.
 

OldSolduer

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WRT the section if you think the C9 is found wanting.

What is the solution? The C6 is a 26 pound gun and its a btich to hump, as many of you know. AND it really needs a number 2 in the Light role just to hump the ammo she eats.

Infanteer has it right I think - a MG being used as a rifle is a misuse of that asset.
Group the C9s under the 2 I/C on a Fire base. The remainder form the assaulters. Whacky I know...
 

daftandbarmy

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Group the C9s under the 2 I/C on a Fire base. The remainder form the assaulters. Whacky I know...

If you scroll down to near the bottom of this online book selection, by Mark Adkins, you'll see a description of how 2 PARA was organized during the Falklands War, as were some other Infantry units at the time.

2 x GPMGs per section was the norm, in 2 x 4 man teams. Those, the 66mm/M72 and No. 80 WP grenades are credited as the main battle winners...

 

KevinB

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The KAC LAMG/AMG is an interesting solution if we're still hell bent on having an assaulting belt fed weapon in a section at half the weight.
It’s a fantastic gun for an assault MG. It’s not a support weapon that can be mounted in tripods, vehicles etc though.
 

Infanteer

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WRT the section if you think the C9 is found wanting.

What is the solution? The C6 is a 26 pound gun and its a btich to hump, as many of you know. AND it really needs a number 2 in the Light role just to hump the ammo she eats.

Infanteer has it right I think - a MG being used as a rifle is a misuse of that asset.

But the C9 is an MG used as a rifle.

The C6s additional weight is, I believe, offset by its additional suppressive and degenerative power.
 

KevinB

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Group the C9s under the 2 I/C on a Fire base. The remainder form the assaulters. Whacky I know...
The C9/M249 isn’t a great firebase weapon as unless you put it in a tripod it’s not very easy to use for accurate fire in support of troops (the M48 and 7.62 Minimi suffer the same way) it hops around much more under recoil even leaning into the gun and one needs to leave much more ‘wiggle room’ to account for that when firing close support.

You can shoot close support much easier with a 240/C6 off the bipod.
That said the weight can be a bit of a bear.
 

Kirkhill

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If you scroll down to near the bottom of this online book selection, by Mark Adkins, you'll see a description of how 2 PARA was organized during the Falklands War, as were some other Infantry units at the time.

2 x GPMGs per section was the norm, in 2 x 4 man teams. Those, the 66mm/M72 and No. 80 WP grenades are credited as the main battle winners...



According to MGen Johnny Frost's 1983 "2 Para Falklands"

H.Jones's thoughts on the MGs prior to the voyage

FN self-loading rifles were the basic weapon, with general purpose machine-guns (GPMGs) as the rifle section armament. The CO asked that the allotment of the GPMG be doubled..

Johnny Frost's thoughts.

Much thought was give to the use of the support weapons for in every unit there are apt to be conflicting interests here. Individual companies often think that they want to have their own machine-gun, mortar and anti-tank weapons at their immediate behest, perhaps forgetting that their may be a price to pay in thus burdening themselves with a more heavily laden element which, if it is part of company, can limit the latter's speed across country when that speed may be vital. The characteristics of the weapons are such that fire can be more effective when they are sited at a distance from those they are supporting. Moreover, it is often much easier to conceal an important fire unit if it is placed to the rear or the flank of a main infantry position. A particularly dangerous concept is that the actual weapons should be kept together, concentrated, so as to produce a concentrated fire effect, but this "bunching" invites recognition from the enemy, running the risk of neutralization., if not destruction of all a battalion's support weapons. However much the weapons are dispersed, when properly handled, and given good communications, they can produce support for any part of a battalion when it needs it most.

The distribution, siting and handling of these weapons has always been better understood by our enemies that by most of the British Army; parachute (Edit: and I would suggest light infantry generally) battalions , who often by the nature of things will have to rely on their own support, ought to have very clear ideas.

I would suggest that when MGen Frost, who held Arnhem Bridge with 2 Para talks about enemies proficient in MG tactics he is referring to the Germans.

Proceeding...

Goose Green

Prep for battle.

The guns of the Machine-Gun Platoon were to have a sustained-fire role in the coming battle, but all the tripods, sights and aiming indicators were back on Sussex Mountain and had to be ferried forward by helicopter; understandably perhaps, not all the correct equipment was sent and as a result only three of hte platoon's guns were complete and ready for their propeer task.

... the support machine-guns and Milans would be concentrated under the direct control of the Support Company commander, so that they could produce a really heavy weight of fire at the vital time and place. The system was being tried out for the first time in this battle , although it had not been practiced before.

During the assault

The (A Company ) commander now ordered Sergeant Barrett to form a fire base of GPMGs, to try and neutralise the nearest enemy trenches with this and his platoon... Major Farrar-Hockley had decided to group Sergeant Barrett's fire base, containing as many machine guns as possible, on the mound...Eventually six guns were grouped together, but it now transpired that the main enemy positions were further away to the right, and their neutralisation required the battalion's mortars, which would take time, since Support Company was still out of range.

(Major Neame, OC D Coy) grouped most of his machine-guns together and directed them to a position from which they would be able to do much damage to the enemy, while he prepared to lead the rest of the company, crawling on their stomachs, round the beach, to take the enemy in the seaward flank and from the rear... their machine guns, grouped under the command of 2nd Lieutenant Chris Waddington (one of the platoon commanders).

it was difficult to control the machine-gunners, who were all very keen on continuing action. "Are we never going to have a go at them?" was the plaintive query raised by one of them, just as the company commander's stern and definitive order came - "Cease firing."

At that point, suddenly and unexpectedly, machine guns opened up on 10 platoon - from behind!...this was the Machine-Gun Platoon, firing from its position near the gorse.


This was a fair contrast to Wireless Ridge when the battalion had lots of fire support from Harriers, the brigade guns, all their mortars with lots of ammunition, a well sighted and equipped 6 gun MG platoon and the services of the Support Company of 3 Para on their flank. The Milans were distributed forwards to the companies. There was no need to group the section GPMGs.

But my question is:

Would the two teams have been more efficient as a gun group with 2x GPMGs and an assault group with their FNs and Phosphorus grenades for trench/sangar clearing?
 

Kirkhill

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The C9/M249 isn’t a great firebase weapon as unless you put it in a tripod it’s not very easy to use for accurate fire in support of troops (the M48 and 7.62 Minimi suffer the same way) it hops around much more under recoil even leaning into the gun and one needs to leave much more ‘wiggle room’ to account for that when firing close support.

You can shoot close support much easier with a 240/C6 off the bipod.
That said the weight can be a bit of a bear.


Is it any worse than a C2 with 150 rounds (a pair of them with 300 rounds)?
 

KevinB

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Is it any worse than a C2 with 150 rounds (a pair of them with 300 rounds)?
The C2 could shoot semi-auto quite accurately. The C9 doesn't allow for that - and the action has a very violent recoil, as the gun doesn't really have enough travel to have a smooth impulse - so when the carrier dead stops into the end of the receiver all that momentum goes into the gun.
While the M240/C6 also bottoms out it has much less energy at the end of the stoke - and has more weight - so the shooter doesn't get the same jerky issues with the gun.

The KAC LMG/LAMG runs on runout - so the carrier never impacts the rear of the receiver, its why most of those guns have a 250k+ lifespan.
Slower cyclic rate - but you can also fire single shots fairly easily -- I used to shoot chest plates with the older version at 300m.

In Iraq I had a Hk21A1 which was basically a belt fed DMR, it could provide limited suppressive fire (closed bolt) - but in semi could be used as a sniper rifle with match ammo. I put a 1-4x ShortDot on it, and it was a fantastic gun with the understanding that it wasn't going to do multi belt dumps. It suffered from very jerky auto fire - but the theory was you used it in semi for requirements not to blast the barn door, and auto when acting like a SAW was acceptable ;)
 

Kirkhill

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In Iraq I had a Hk21A1 which was basically a belt fed DMR, it could provide limited suppressive fire (closed bolt) - but in semi could be used as a sniper rifle with match ammo. I put a 1-4x ShortDot on it, and it was a fantastic gun with the understanding that it wasn't going to do multi belt dumps. It suffered from very jerky auto fire - but the theory was you used it in semi for requirements not to blast the barn door, and auto when acting like a SAW was acceptable ;)

But now you're getting into the IAR/LSW concept of operations aren't you? Disregarding the relative merits of the weapons involved.
 
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