Artillery was mostly a defensive unit during WWII and proved to be the basic weapon of fighting tanks. However, in A&A, it is usually only used as an offensive unit, mainly to give large infantry formations more punch, not for anti-tank defences or counter-battery fire upon enemy artillery. The task of destroying enemy tanks and artillery batteries can also fall to attack aircraft, but unless they are already on patrol overhead, they are usually not quick enough to save friendly forces from damage. More often, ground-based counter-battery fire would suppress the enemy artillery batteries and force them to move, while aircraft would follow up later with a strike to destroy the rest of the enemy artillery.
Once Germany had been thrown on to the defensive in WWII the burden of combat shifted away from aircraft and tanks to the infantry and artillery. This were not because the former were not needed but rather their short supply forced reliance on the latter. However Germany had a shortage of artillery and therefore carried severe penalties. The inabillity to conduct effective large-scale counter-battery operations,as well as the loss of air superiority, was primary cause of German failure in both the West and the East. The early hopes of victory through mobility were replaced by an insatiable demand for the firepower of artillery.
e.g-Each artillary can attack a tank, hitting on 1.
The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it-George Orwell
I would be interested in seeing your source for this. The primary anti-tank weapons in WW2 were tanks and tank destroyers, dedicated anti-tank guns, and ground attack aircraft. Artillery in an indirect fire role did very little damage to tanks.Game Master wrote: Artillery was mostly a defensive unit during WWII and proved to be the basic weapon of fighting tanks.
As for artillery being mostly a defensive unit, that is questionable as well. Artillery definitely helped in the defense, but it also was off great assistance in the offense. Naval gunfire, functioning as artillery was absolutely vital in taking out the hardened Japanese island defenses in the Pacific campaign.
I also think its for this same reason there is a discussion going on about fleet protection (AA). When you add something offensive (dive bmr) you need to be able to counter it for game balance.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artillery ... onal_types
"After World War I many nations merged these different artillery branches, in some cases keeping some as sub-branches. Naval artillery disappeared apart from that belonging to marines. However, two new branches of artillery emerged during that war and its aftermath, both used specialised guns (and a few rockets) and used direct not indirect fire, in the 1950s and 1960s both started to make extensive use of missiles:
- Anti-tank artillery, also under various organisational arrangements but typically either field artillery or a specialist branch and additional elements integral to infantry, etc., units. However, in most armies field and anti-aircraft artillery also had at least a secondary anti-tank role. After World War II anti-tank in Western armies became mostly the responsibility of infantry and armoured branches and ceased to be an artillery matter, with some exceptions.
- Anti-aircraft artillery, under various organisational arrangements including being part of artillery, a separate corps, even a separate service or being split between army for the field and airforce for home defence. In some cases infantry and the new armoured corps also operated their own integral light anti-aircraft artillery. Home defence anti-aircraft artillery often used fixed as well as mobile mountings. Some anti-aircraft guns could also be used as field or anti-tank artillery, providing they had suitable sights."
It is true that artillery brigades provided infantry with the power needed to attack enemy strongpoints sans armored support. Yet it is also true that artillery brigades were often the center pieces of said strong points of defense. Tanks were developed in WWI as a means to put an end to the monotony of trench warfare on the Western Front by punching through enemy lines, and in the interwar period their development as offensive powerhouses only increased. While artillery maintained their offensive capabilities, their prominence as an unarmored infantry regiment's defense against an armored advance came to be more pronounced. The lingering pervasive viewing of artillery as more offensive than defensive after the advent of the tank can be traced to, among other things:
1) the generally superior performance of American artillery during the war (https://armyhistory.org/u-s-and-german- ... omparison/), and
2) Soviet artillery doctrine pre-, during, and post-WWII (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artillery ... y_Division):
"The concept of the Artillery Division is deeply rooted in Soviet military doctrine relies on treating artillery as a unique combat arm in its own right capable of achieving large-scale mission-based targets using just its own resources and assets. It is a means to concentrate overwhelmingly large massed firepower in a small geographical area to achieve a strategic and overwhelming breaching in the enemy defences."
With this in mind, in a mod I'm designing for Global 1940.2 some of the first rule modifications I made were to the interactions between Infantry/Artillery/Tanks:
- Artillery defend at a 3 when paired with two Infantry (or Infantry substitute, e.g. Paratroopers, Marines), reflecting their historical use as defensive powerhouses.
- In general, Tanks defend at a 2 unless paired with an Infantry, reflecting their historical use as offensive weapons meant to punch through enemy lines and their need for Infantry support when caught unawares.
- Tanks have been reworked so that historical Light, Medium, and Heavy classes of tanks are available (Heavy Tanks require the technological breakthrough).
- Multinational defenses may not make use of these pairings unless pertinent National Advantages allow them to do so.
With regards to the Artillery defense boost, I chose to make it pair with 2 Infantry (or substitutes) to reflect the resources devoted to making a defensive strongpoint in a short amount of time on a constantly-changing front; while my version utilizes Entrenchments, Blockhouses, and Coastal Batteries, I didn't want a defender to always have to purchase those units when they're trying to prop up their defensive capabilities.
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