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Subject: Re: AP armor
From: Dan Welch
Date: 1/2/99 6:22:09 PM

I've been issued with beehive, and considered it more wasted space than
anything else. I'm sure it was great for cutting down elephant grass in
Nam, but the opportunity of catching enough troops out in the open to
make it worth using is going to be a rare thing, and by the time you've
sent the second round downrange (the first will be a sabot or HEAT, since
no-one will battle carry a beehive, and it's faster to fire the first
round to get it out of the breach than extract it and stow it)the target
will have likely gone to ground or dispersed now that they know they're a
target. A HEAT round will have the desired effect, so why waste space
with a beehive.

With a .50 and 2x240's, along with HEAT and MPAT, I don't understand how
anyone can think that the M1 series is less of an anti-material and
anti-personnel weapon than any tank of WWII. It has 50% more (and
heavier) machineguns than the usual WWII tank (of any nation) except for
some US tanks that even then carried a 50 and 2xM1919A4's, and the
105/120 HEAT/MPAT is assuredly more destructive than the standard WWII HE
rounds of most tanks, other than ISU/SU series and (maybe) JagdTiger(was
it issued with HE? I would assume so).

So if anyone can refute the destructiveness of the M1 series being less
than WWII tanks to soft targets, I'd love to hear why.

Why do we train mostly on tank vs. tank engagements? Well, consider that
the most deadly game out there is tank vs. tank, and the most difficult
engagement to execute is tank vs. tank, most of our training should
naturally be tank vs.  tank. If you are proficient enough with your tank
to be able to knock out another tank that is on the move and trying to
kill you while you are on the move, then it doesn't take a whole lot of
expertise to shoot up a column of trucks from a tank.  It doesn't take a
whole lot of expertise to lob a HEAT round into a bunker, and it doesn't
take a lot of expertise to fire a pintle mounted machinegun at an area
target, or even a point target, if you've got a few seconds and aren't
concerned with ammo expenditure. It takes a couple of boxes of ammo to
familiarize a loader to the point where he's gonna be likely to suppress
infantry without ricocheting bullets off the roof of the turret or the
TC's head. Yes, you should let him fire at least once a year at gunnery
to give him confidence. No, often this doesn't happen. Most loaders on
most tanks aren't even given a machinegun, so this is not really a
critical shortcoming, more a bonus than anything else anyway. Any TC
that's fired a couple of boxes of .50 on the M1/A1 CWS should be able to
hit his target, unless of course he just sucks. I found the M1/A1 CWS a
lot of fun to fire, and very accurate, but virtually useless in the Gulf.
I would have much rather had the pintle of the A2, which I now have, as
the old CWS is impossible to aim on the move, and if your firing at
anything in the defense, you'd be stupid to waste time firing the 50 at
it when you could fire coax or HEAT. The greatest use of a .50 (the
reason for it's use in WWII to begin with) is air defense, and that was
impossible on the CWS, unless you had an extremely cooperative target.
You guys who were talking about firing 50 at a HIND were insane. Why fire
something that's going to largely be ineffective at something that can
return a missile at you in a couple of seconds, when you can simply gut
it virtually instantaneously with a sabot or HEAT? This is a no-brainer.
Why pump .50 APIT into a BRDM or BTR, which is going to take a while,
when you can simply gut it instantaneously with a HEAT round? Are you
trying to waste your time, or do you simply like having to pop up and
change .50 cans out in the open in the middle of a battle? Do you want to
give it the opportunity to move out of the beaten zone or disgorge
troops? I can live with engaging a large amount of troops or dispersed
troops simultaneously with .50 and coax, but after the initial burst,
they're going to generally be going to ground and bounding, in which
case, the TC needs to hand the target off to the gunner or get the loader
in on the action, so the TC doesn't waste time getting his attention
diverted away from his main function, fighting the system, instead of
playing cowboy. The other main situation I might foresee is if you have
several BMP/PC's with dismounted infantry advancing, where the gunner
will be busy whacking PC's and the loader is busy feeding the gun, so the
TC might want to take the time to keep suppressing the infantry with .50
until the gunner's busy whacking BMPs. But remember (as so many seem to
forget here) tanking is a team sport, and a tank is not usually out there
fighting duels.  All the other tanks are out there with you, and the TC's
are usually (if the unit knows what it's doing) cross-talking their way
through engagements with the other tanks in the platoon and company, so
TC's aren't usually taking the time to fire anyway, since some of the
other tanks are probably firing coax at the dismounts while others are
finishing up the PC's, etc.

You want to see what tanks do to materiel and dismounts these days, watch
the opening scene of "The Beast". Yes, they're wasting a largely
defenseless village, but they are truly efficient and well trained, and a
good teaching tool when you don't have anything more pertinant to train
your guys on. I like using this movie when teaching Geneva and Hague
conventions. But that's another thread.

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