Machine Gun Area Fire

Conflicts and wars from the end of the Second World War to the end of the 20th century.
UshCha
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Machine Gun Area Fire

Post by UshCha » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:19 am

I have realised that in our rules we have not got area fire for Macine guns like the GPMG on a tripod.. We have grazing or "Graving" fire in a single line out to 600m for tripod mounted weapons but not area fire beyond this. Does anybody have any information on typical dimentions of such fire.

How did we miss this? Well the rules were written originaly round 1/72 scale models and even on an 8 by 6 ft board, practicaly fixed line was really about all that can be used.

To be honest even after 10 years its one thing to have a model system to simulate battles, its another to use real tactics and I am coming to realise just how complex a task is to lay out a credible defence with wire, greanade launchers mortar, wire, Claymore and normal mines and on top of that is anti tank defence. But that is what its all about, learning and tyring to put it into practice.

Ian Shaw
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Re: Machine Gun Area Fire

Post by Ian Shaw » Tue Feb 13, 2018 10:33 am

The SF GPMG has the same sights as the 81mm mortar for indirect fire. It's certainly still used, I'd look up accounts of the MG Corp in WWI for practical examples. It's area denial really.

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dadlamassu
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Re: Machine Gun Area Fire

Post by dadlamassu » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:22 pm

The beaten zone is affected by range, elevation, traverse rate etc.

A typical MMG at about 500 metres the beaten zone where 85% of the rounds end up is a metre or so wide and about 100m long, at 1000m the zone is about 2 metres wide and 75m long, 1500m gives about 3m wide and 60m long and at 2000m it is about 4m wide and 50m long.

The method of employment alters this using by traverse and/or elevation. No change in elevation allows the gun to traverse creating a wider zone with the same depth while changing elevation not traverse creates a narrow but deeper zone. Using both elevation and traverse the pattern can be altered diagonally. The duration and number of guns also affects this.

The MGs used for this type of fire are generally the infantry MMG and GPMG type. AA or HMGs tend not to be used as they are a bit on the "accurate" side to create the dispersal needed for effective indirect fire.

panzerman47
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Re: Machine Gun Area Fire

Post by panzerman47 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:06 am

Most enlightening, thanx for posting.

Seret
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Re: Machine Gun Area Fire

Post by Seret » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:35 am

dadlamassu wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:22 pm
The method of employment alters this using by traverse and/or elevation.
Exactly, in practice the gunners will give it a burst, then adjust a click and fire another burst. Each gun will have its own aiming point designed so that they link up with the next gun and produce a beaten zone fairly continuously swept by fire (of at least enough density to act as harrassing fire). So the width of the zone is going to depend on the number of guns. I would say at normal ranges you woudn't have too much trouble covering 25-50m per gun in your game with fire that will be effective enough to model. Your main effect would be suppression, not casualties.

This is an old WW2 video, but the laws of physics haven't changed since then, so the principle is still the same. It covers a lot of the nitty gritty of how they're employed:

https://youtu.be/9_HYmcm9A2o

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Rumblestrip
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Re: Machine Gun Area Fire

Post by Rumblestrip » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:29 am

Seret wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:35 am
This is an old WW2 video, but the laws of physics haven't changed since then, so the principle is still the same. It covers a lot of the nitty gritty of how they're employed:

https://youtu.be/9_HYmcm9A2o
Well, having no military background, I thought the detail of that, both in the commentary and the visuals, was fascinating. Really interesting to see the roles for each member of the team and the orders/planning process.

Andrew
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UshCha
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Re: Machine Gun Area Fire

Post by UshCha » Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:49 pm

Thanks for the video, most helpful.

Seret
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Re: Machine Gun Area Fire

Post by Seret » Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:16 am

Rumblestrip wrote:
Thu Feb 15, 2018 11:29 am
Well, having no military background, I thought the detail of that, both in the commentary and the visuals, was fascinating. Really interesting to see the roles for each member of the team and the orders/planning process.
I think one of the big takeaways from a wargaming point of view is that it's talking about the use of SFMGs in the attack. Plenty of wargames rules seem to assume that belt-fed guns on tripods are a defensive weapon, and used for direct fire. They don't consider them to be part of an infantry battalion's indirect fire plan, or that they can be operating from defilade and firing into the enemy's rear areas. For a lot of ground scales, SFMGs should probably be an off-table asset!

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Rumblestrip
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Re: Machine Gun Area Fire

Post by Rumblestrip » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:08 am

Seret wrote:
Fri Feb 16, 2018 10:16 am
I think one of the big takeaways...
I like a big takeaway :)

Andrew
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bannockburn bhoy
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Re: Machine Gun Area Fire

Post by bannockburn bhoy » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:27 am

No danger of getting to highbrow on here :D :D :D

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