Pendraken Miniatures Forum

Pendraken Rules! => BKC-IV - Army Lists! => Topic started by: T13A on 08 January 2020, 04:43:44 PM



Title: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: T13A on 08 January 2020, 04:43:44 PM
Hi

I'm just in the process of putting an OOB together for a late 1944 game which includes German Volksgrenadiers (not to be confused with Volkssturm) and was a bit surprised that they do not appear in the German Army, NW Europe >June 44 - May 45 list.

My understanding is they were made up of a cadre of experienced NCO's and officers (in theory at least), ex. Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe personnel surplus to requirements, previously wounded soldiers now considered fit and older men and teenagers. Each infantry company was made up (again, in theory at least) of two platoons equipped with the Sturmgewehr 44 and the other platoon with the normal allocation of rifles (presumably with the normal allocation of MG-42's?). They also appear to have a higher than normal allocation of panzerfausts and panzerschrecks to make up for a lack of heavier anti-tank assets.

Anyway I was wondering what states a volksgrenadier infantry platoon should have and whether you would differentiate between the  Sturmgewehr 44 and rifle equipped platoons?

Grateful for any thoughts.

Cheers Paul


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: sultanbev on 08 January 2020, 05:30:43 PM
In practice most would be SMG armed in those two platoons, not MP44. Only 424,000 of the assault rifles were built, compared to 12 million or so rifles. See MicroMark List G8A for example.

From the photos I've seen, the MP44 seem to have been issued individually, with only a few men per company having them. According to Wiki (for what it's worth) two regular infantry divisions were supplied with them in significant numbers, and that on the Eastern front. I haven't actually come across references to whole units having them on the western fronts.

If you wish to have whole platoons equipped with them , for stats simply give it SMG stats out to 300m, ie 6/15.
VG platoons had only 3 MG34/42, so didn't have more MGs than anyone else, in fact half as many as you'd get in Panzer Grenadier platoons, so would still be 3/30cm.

At the level of game play of BKC, there is little difference between regular infantry and VG companies.

Mark


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: T13A on 08 January 2020, 07:38:14 PM
Hi Mark

Many thanks for the reply.

Just re-read my source (Snow & Steel, Battle of the Bulge by Peter Caddick-Adams) and you are quite right it said 'about two platoons worth' of MP-44's per company although he does say the bulk of those manufactured were used 'predominantly' by the Volksgrenadiers (but without a reference to back it up unfortunately).

Still surprised that there aren't states for Volksgrenadiers in the rules when there are for Volkssturm.  :-

Cheers Paul 


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: sultanbev on 08 January 2020, 08:03:20 PM
Paul, any particular Volksgrenadier Division you are looking at?
I have the morale and training values for all the VG Divisions in the west for my own rules,

Mark


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: T13A on 09 January 2020, 09:31:37 AM
Hi Mark

I'm looking to do some actions in the Ardennes so picked the 212th Volksgrenadier Division commanded by Generalmajor Franz Sensfuss.

Cheers Paul


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: sultanbev on 09 January 2020, 11:23:39 AM
According to my notes that is one of the better ones, so would have CV9 HQs, and CV10 overall HQ, and infantry stats:
Rifle Platoon: 45pts M=10,  AI = 3/30, A/T =-, CA =4, Hits = 6, Veteran. (There is no indication it had extra LMGs or M44s in bulk)
SMG Platoon: ??pts M= 10, AI = 3/30, 6/10, A/T = -, CA =4, Hits = 6, Veteran (I see no problem with infantry having multiple small arms values in cases such as this)

However they were easily pushed back by an armoured battalion counter-attack, which suggests nothing above the normal allocation for Panzerfausts and anti-tank grenades, and no Panzershrecks, unless you'e found different.

Incidentally it's divisional AT Bttn had only 4x StuG IIIG, so one model.
If the list for the division by the Greg's Panzerblitz rules is correct, then each battalion has 5 rifle platoons, 4 SMG platoons, 1 81mm mortar battery, 2x 75mm IG18 platoons

Mark


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: toxicpixie on 09 January 2020, 01:46:49 PM
Like Mark says - in practise there's no difference between Volksgrenadier and "normal" German rifle platoons, so no need of a separate entry for them. Volkssturm are sufficiently different to warrant different stats.

Quality of troops is the main variable with VG vs Heer, but as Mark also says some were decent (if under armed), others were mediocre at best.

If it helps my main German unit for Spearhead in 6mm was a VG Regiment, as everyone else had good to amazing evil Nazi's so I felt I had to bring the tone down to a more reasonable level by picking the duffest troops with the duffest kit ;) As is always the way they since acquired a couple of Tigers, a Division (or in VG terms probably a Corps!) worth of ATG's & SP-ATGs, some elite recce (push bikes, it's the way forwards...) and...


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: T13A on 09 January 2020, 02:16:56 PM
Hi Mark and Toxicpixie

Many thanks both.

Again my understanding of giving them (i.e. Volksgrenadiers in general) a relative high number of MP44's was to make up for lack of firepower in other areas and the fact that regiments were made up of only two battalions rather than the usual three in normal infantry divisions (that is if anything counts as 'normal' in the German army of late 1944). I'm not completely sure that an MP44 should equate to an SMG in BKC terms, though. Reminds me of when I was doing my basic training in Catterick, way back when a Sterling SMG was my 'personal' weapon and the instructor suggested that if we ever had to bail out of our tanks we should find the nearest infantry man, hit him over the head with the SMG and pinch his SLR!

Thanks again.

Paul


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: sultanbev on 13 January 2020, 08:38:06 AM
Done a bit more looking around, turns out only 1 in 3 VG Divisions received enough MP44 to fit out the two platoons per company. Another 5% of VG Divisions had one platoon of MP44 per company.
As yet we don't know which divisions had the preponderance of MP44, but at least we've got a heads up.

The way round for wargaming purposes is to allow one in 3 companies have the assault rifles, the rest just normal rifles or SMG.

For the 212th VG Division, US combat reports report plenty of "bazooka" fire, so they obviously had Panzershrecks. At full complement that is 54 per regiment, which equates exactly to 1 per squad on average. Each platoon HQ has 3 men with rifle grenade launchers, even in MP44 platoons, so they would have had 40mm Grosse Panzergranate anti-tank rifle grenades, which was 4 times more common than Panzerfausts. But BKC doesn't factor them in, other than in CA values. Note that from Nov 1944 KsTN 131V reduces the VG squads down to 8 men from 9 men, so platoons were quite small.
This again, isn't factored in in BKC stats.

The same US combat history doesn't mention the MP44s, and the stoicity of the regiments varied somewhat. However as a division it retained cohesion even when down to 30 men per company in January 1945, so overall a robust unit.

Mark


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: T13A on 13 January 2020, 09:46:02 AM
Hi Mark

Many thanks for all the research you are doing on this, it's very appreciated. I really did not intend that you should get so involved. Above and beyond the call of duty as they say.

Thanks again.

Cheers Paul


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: sultanbev on 13 January 2020, 10:29:43 AM
No worries, I collect TOEs for a hobby and business, so you piqued my interest, it'll make a couple of army lists to add to the MicroMark collection :)

Mark


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: sultanbev on 14 January 2020, 05:34:27 PM
Well I went the whole hog and did a BKC-IV version of the army list for this division:

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/300518/BKCG39-German-212th-Volksgrenadier-Division-Ardennes-December-1944

Includes all 80th Corps and 7th Army support units potentially available. So if you want to know what Fortress Battalions, Volks Artillery Corps, Werfer Brigades, Luftwaffe Flak Regiments, PAK43 battalions all look like, this is the place to go  ;)

Mark


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: mad lemmey on 14 January 2020, 05:53:05 PM
Wow, that is dedication Mark!  :o 8)


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: T13A on 14 January 2020, 07:33:50 PM
Hi Mark

Brilliant! Purchased and downloaded.

Can I suggest one of the US Infantry divisions involved in the Ardennes?

Cheers Paul


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: sultanbev on 15 January 2020, 12:15:12 AM
You can, any particular division?

Mark


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: T13A on 15 January 2020, 08:30:53 AM
Hi Mark

I was thinking 28 Infantry Division if the same OOB could also be used for the Hurtgen Forest fighting (I appreciate that might not be practical because of casualties) or perhaps the 99 Infantry Division?

Cheers Paul


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: steve_holmes_11 on 15 January 2020, 09:48:06 AM
A bit late to the party here, and unqualified to comment on the rules end of the question.
Bayonetstrength.uk is my go to for details of organisation.

http://www.bayonetstrength.uk/GermanArmy/GerInfBn/OrgGerInfBn-headerpg.htm (http://www.bayonetstrength.uk/GermanArmy/GerInfBn/OrgGerInfBn-headerpg.htm)

It looks as through the automatic armed platoons were called machinepistol platoons until November '44 when they were renamed sturm platoons.
This appears to be when the Assault Rifle appears on the paper strength.

I noticed that the MP / Sturm platoon has a single squad with an LMG (The other two are exclusively equipped with automatic personal weapons).
Within the rifle platoon, each squad has 2 assault rifles and an LMG, the remainder carry rifles.


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: sultanbev on 15 January 2020, 10:06:09 AM
Yep, came across the document German Infantry Battalion organization 1938 to 1945  in my research, great detail. What it doesn't highlight enough though is that the original KTsN for Sept 1944 for VG companies didin't differentiate between SMG and MP44, simply calling them MP platoons - from a post on Axis History it is clear that this was sloppy book keeping at the time, and it was intended to be MP44 platoons all along. Hence the confusion initially between me saying they were most likely to be SMG armed platoons due to shortage of MP44, and Paul thinking they were definitely MP44 armed.

Turns out there was two KTsN for Volkgrenadier companies, the original from September with "MP platoons", which is the one I had picked up on years ago for my army lists; then there is the November KTsN which clearly states MP44 platoons. However we also know now that most units (2/3rd of them) had to replace them with rifles anyway due to shortages of MP44.

But the document German Infantry Battalion organization 1938 to 1945 is superb. As well as organisational details, it lists ammo allocations for most infantry weapons and heavy weapons.
Interestingly late war, 20 rockets per Panzershreck,
36 panzerfausts per infantry company,
18 panzerfausts per HW company, so even your MMG teams and mortar crews can be given Panzerfaust upgrades.
IG37 infantry guns with 24 rounds of HEAT.
12cm mortars with no smoke ammo allocated.
20 rifle-anti tank grenades per launcher in VG Companies.
and so on.

Mark


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: paulr on 15 January 2020, 06:18:35 PM
Thanks Steve, site bookmarked :)


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: sultanbev on 24 January 2020, 12:56:46 AM
US 28th Infantry Division for the Ardennes:
(Hurtgen Forest will be a different list)
https://www.wargamevault.com/product/301397/BKCA45-American-28th-Infantry-Division-Ardennes-December-1944

Mark


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: sultanbev on 24 January 2020, 01:43:54 AM
And the corresponding corps and army support list:

https://www.wargamevault.com/product/301402/BKCA46-American-8th-Corps-and-3rd-Army-Support-Ardennes-December-1944

Mark


Title: Re: German Volksgrenadier Infantry Platoons
Post by: sultanbev on 26 January 2020, 10:45:49 PM
Next up the US 99th Infantry Division:
https://www.wargamevault.com/product/301612/BKCA47-American-99th-Infantry-Division-Ardennes-December-1944

Mark