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    HE shells usage when attacking pillbox

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    Stah

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    HE shells usage when attacking pillbox

    Post by Stah on Wed Dec 09, 2015 4:22 pm

    Why is that HE shells only scratch the surface of concete when attacking pillboxes, and the AP do the job, drilling a hole and killing the crew? Wasn't it the other way around? I mean, HE are intended for destroying bunkers (concrete), aren't they? I tried to find some explanation in shell parameters, but there seems to be none. Is the game engine treating concrete and steel as the same material?

    LSM

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    Re: HE shells usage when attacking pillbox

    Post by LSM on Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:15 pm

    Земляні та деревяні споруди обстрілювались уламково-фугасними, а Доти - бронебійними і бетонобійними. Тому й царапають.
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    lockie
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    Re: HE shells usage when attacking pillbox

    Post by lockie on Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:29 pm

    Stah wrote:Why is that HE shells only scratch the surface of concete when attacking pillboxes, and the AP do the job
    In fact pillbox (made of concrete) is not destroyable. In STA mod was implemented a "game balance" when user had a chance to destroy pillbox only with AP shell after several tries.
    There should have been flamethrower tanks, but unfortunately they were not implemented.
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    33lima
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    Re: HE shells usage when attacking pillbox

    Post by 33lima on Wed Dec 09, 2015 10:50 pm

    I would have thought that an HE shell (thin-walled, not designed to penetrate) with the usual impact and/or graze fuse would have burst on the surface of a re-inforced concrete structure, causing some external damage. How much damage, depending on the weight of the HE filler in the shell, but possibly needing repeated strikes to 'crumble' the re-inforced concrete or cause serious internal spalling (like repeated hits from rifle-calibre rounds can crumble and penetrate concrete 'cinder' blocks or double brick walls that a single round will not penetrate).

    So I am not surprised in SF that ordinary HE shells (typically, 40-90mm for a WW2 tank)  are not very effective 'bunker busters'. What would be needed would be a naval-type AP shell, designed to penetrate armour but fused to explode after penetration; or a hollow charge shell (APHE or HEAT), or the British post-WW2 HESH round. There's a reason the British fitted a tank designed to bust bunkers with a huge spigot 'petard' - Churchill AVRE:

    I may be wrong but I would expect AP shot or shell to be more effective in busting a re-inforced concrete bunker, except perhaps for something very big like the Soviet 122mm.
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    woofiedog
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    Re: HE shells usage when attacking pillbox

    Post by woofiedog on Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:04 pm

    Some information about when Patton's Third Army were faced with attacks on the German held Maginot Line forts.

    http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/wwii/articles/maginotline.aspx

    Several days later, Fort Hackenberg proved more difficult to capture. Block 8 with its three rapid-fire 75 mm guns pinned down soldiers of the 357th Infantry Regiment and held up the regiment's advance for nearly a day. The thick concrete of the casemate resisted fire from tank destroyers and artillery including 240 mm howitzers and 8-inch guns. That night several M12 155 mm self-propelled guns were brought up to within 2,000 yards of Block 8. The next morning, direct fire from the self-propelled guns knocked out the stubborn block. The advance was resumed and XX Corps ultimately captured Metz.


    On 25 November, the 80th Infantry Division opened its attack with a five-minute preparatory artillery barrage. Supported by the 702nd Tank Battalion, and the 610th and 808th Tank Destroyer Battalions, the infantry advanced and captured eight ouvrages in several hours. Then they repulsed a series of German counter-attacks. Though the tanks were largely ineffective against the concrete ouvrages, the tank destroyers' high velocity 90 mm guns were able to penetrate and knock them out. American losses were light and some 600 Germans were captured.


    Against the formidable Maginot fortifications and the German defenders, the U.S. Army employed its preponderance of firepower and proficiencies in the use of combined arms: artillery, armor, infantry and engineers. No one American weapon system was able to destroy the Maginot Line forts by itself. Only the M12 self-propelled gun and the M36 tank destroyer using direct fire were able to consistently penetrate and knock-out fortifications.

    The infantry and engineers captured most of the fortifications but they required firepower support from the other combat arms. U.S. artillery, armor, infantry and engineers were most successful when employed together in a coordinated effort. American commanders quickly realized this and routinely employed their forces in such a manner. As a result, the U.S. Army ultimately accomplished what the German Army had been largely unable to do in 1940: capture Maginot Line forts by assault.

    Stah

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    Re: HE shells usage when attacking pillbox

    Post by Stah on Wed Dec 09, 2015 11:59 pm

    lockie wrote:In fact pillbox (made of concrete) is not destroyable. In STA mod was implemented a "game balance" when user had a chance to destroy pillbox only with AP shell after several tries.

    Yes, I just got it now, after several experiments. It was quite naive of me to expect pillboxes to sort of crumble or explode... But there were the times when I was sitting in my JS-2 in front of a bunker, giving it some serious bombarding with HE shells, waiting for some impressive destruction... Very Happy And some day I just tried AP shell and it just did the trick!

    ...Ok, so this is just how the game is designed. Got to live with it Smile

    Stah

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    Re: HE shells usage when attacking pillbox

    Post by Stah on Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:34 am

    33lima wrote:I would have thought that an HE shell (thin-walled, not designed to penetrate) with the usual impact and/or graze fuse would have burst on the surface of a re-inforced concrete structure, causing some external damage. (...) I may be wrong but I would expect AP shot or shell to be more effective in busting a re-inforced concrete bunker, except perhaps for something very big like the Soviet 122mm.

    Yes, I think you're right, that was exactly what I was expecting when attacking pillbox for the first time and loading HE shell for the job - I wouldn't try it in T-34 or T-70 Laughing , but I happened to sit exactly in JS-2.

    Btw, the specialized anti-concrete shells seems to me (judging by how they were built) the attempt to join the effects of impact and explosion. So they seem to be a cross between AP and HE - like massive APHE, but more to the HE side...

    Ok, now I know that the destruction model implemented in SF doesn't include such destruction as crushing or crumbling - only piercing surfaces or blowing away objects or elements of objects. I'm happy with it, the AP shell piercing through the concrete doesn't seem something completely counterintuitive after all. The only drawback seems to be the usefulness of concrete-piercing shell as KV-2's G-530. I just experimented with it hour ago, tweaking its parameters ('cause it didn't penetrate bunkers at all) and it seems that the only way to make it useful is to make it extremely strong AP shell (i mean: high parameter "penetration" and/or extremely big mass), but then it will lose its - so to say - specialization, as it will become just the very effective AP shell, good for fighting tanks. It's a pity (imho) - I like the idea of specialized shells in my tank; it gives an extra level of tactical thinking to the combat situation (like: "load this shell now, or save it just in case of another wave of...", etc), which makes game muuuch more interesting.

    Stah

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    Re: HE shells usage when attacking pillbox

    Post by Stah on Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:46 am

    woofiedog wrote:Though the tanks were largely ineffective against the concrete ouvrages, the tank destroyers' high velocity 90 mm guns were able to penetrate and knock them out.

    Okay, that settles it. Now I think that I was paretially fooled by the fact that "high explosive" translates to Polish as "burzący" - which literally means "destructing structures". So I assumed intuituively that it would be great shell for fighting bunkers... Rolling Eyes Smile

    But, as LSM pointed out: Земляні та деревяні споруди обстрілювались уламково-фугасними, а Доти - бронебійними і бетонобійними. Тому й царапають. - so HE were used to destructing structures indeed, but these made of wood and soil, not concrete. Yeah, seems logical.
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    Re: HE shells usage when attacking pillbox

    Post by frinik on Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:18 pm

    The HE shells are not very effective at killing infantry either in SF. The explosions do not generate nt enough shrapnel and splinters and if a shell lands just a couple of feet away from a group of infantrymen often they won't die unless it land son top of them.

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