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Jock Columns?


Avimimus
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Hello, 

 

I was thinking of trying to build a Jock Column... is there a good guide to the FMB - particularly, is there a working limber/unlimber system for artillery? This is important as I gather that Jock columns often used 'static' guns for hit-and-fade attacks.

 

Also, what is a realistic composition for a Jock column? How should the formation be laid out? Any tips?

 

P.S. It might be nice to have a 'premade' Jock column template as one of the options in the mission editor!

 

Edited by Avimimus
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" These ‘Jock Columns’ – named after their inventor Lieutenant-Colonel J.C. ‘Jock’ Campbell VC of 4th Royal Horse Artillery (RHA) – were typically made up of a battery of 25-pounder field guns, a motorized ‘motor’ infantry company, an armoured car troop, a troop of 2-pounder anti-tank guns and a section of 40mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns, plus ancillary arms such as medical personnel and signallers."

 

http://grymauch.blogspot.com/2018/01/ww2-in-nafrica-jock-column-v-supply.html

 

Edited by Sokol1
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According to "Jock" Columns by Olinger, Mark A. in Military Review, November-December, 2000

 

Standard composition:

- Between four and twelve 25-pounder field guns

- One company of motorised infantry (I presume this would be 24-37 men in 1941 if at full strength).

- Portée mounted anti-tank guns (I presume these were usually two-pounders as six-pounders could only be mounted on a few trucks and were difficult to fire from them).

- Carrier mounted 3-in mortars and machine guns (I presume Bren carriers).

 

Note:

- Another source he cites (Harold Sell) reports sometimes Marman Harrington armoured cars or light tanks ('Honeys')

- Another source he cites (H.L. Sykes) reports Jock columns supporting tanks and being equipped with 40mm Bofors in addition to the above weapons.

 

Some additional thoughts from me:

- Protecting supply lines and being able to make contact early (to avoid being ambushed) in the fluid desert warfare was important.

- Early use by the Italians with portée mounted guns had better armed armoured cars easily dominated recon groups in the desert.

- British tank units tended to be concentrated and controlled by higher command... this left infantry units fairly unprotected. The unreliability of tanks and their attrition also limited their availability.

 

Infantry units were forced to adapt to mobile German tactics, often doing so without the assistance of allied tanks.The 25-pounder guns were able to deal with infantry in a way the AP rounds of the 2-pounder antitank guns couldn't, and they could also deal with German tanks at long range using HE shells.

 

The 25-pounder thus formed the nucleus of effective units, including effective mobile units. The result was the use of field howitzers in reconnaissance and patrol actions, in counter-attacks to blunt enemy armour, and even eventually in hit-and-fade raids behind enemy lines.

 

These units are an important, and largely unique, element of British warfare in the desert in 1940-1943.

Edited by Avimimus
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I look forward to your planned column...but honestly first thought you’d be doing some sort of Roman ruins placed in different places on the map...actually as the designers of the new map go on improving its eye candy not a totally bad idea...

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On 8/13/2020 at 10:56 AM, Blitzen said:

I look forward to your planned column...but honestly first thought you’d be doing some sort of Roman ruins placed in different places on the map...actually as the designers of the new map go on improving its eye candy not a totally bad idea...

 

Yeah, I'm waiting for the tutorials to get more information on the scripting system. For a Jock column to work well I suspect it will require "limbering/unlimbering" the field guns using scripts to spawn and remove units.

 

I'm also thinking of using the Krupp Protze as a stand-in for the British truck mounted anti-tank guns. It'd be grand to have a few purely cosmetic infantry units in prone.

 

P.S. But landmarks are indeed cool

Edited by Avimimus
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2 hours ago, Avimimus said:

 

Yeah, I'm waiting for the tutorials to get more information on the scripting system. For a Jock column to work well I suspect it will require "limbering/unlimbering" the field guns using scripts to spawn and remove units.

 

I'm also thinking of using the Krupp Protze as a stand-in for the British truck mounted anti-tank guns. It'd be grand to have a few purely cosmetic infantry units in prone.

 

P.S. But landmarks are indeed cool

There is a British Truck mounted 20mm vehicle.

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12 minutes ago, Buzzsaw said:

There is a British Truck mounted 20mm vehicle.

 

Yes... but that is hardly a 37mm-40mm breach-loaded anti-tank gun - which is what I need to simulate.

 

Anyway, if I manage to finish it - it will probably be more of a test/demo mission for other people on what a Jock column would look like (and to do that properly I'll need to dig up a few more photos/reports etc.) So, it isn't like any of this is crucial.

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2 hours ago, Avimimus said:

 

Yes... but that is hardly a 37mm-40mm breach-loaded anti-tank gun - which is what I need to simulate.

 

Anyway, if I manage to finish it - it will probably be more of a test/demo mission for other people on what a Jock column would look like (and to do that properly I'll need to dig up a few more photos/reports etc.) So, it isn't like any of this is crucial.

The 37mm truck or halftrack mounted weapons could not fire on the move.

 

They needed to be stationary and deploy their support structures in order to fire.

 

Firing a weapon the size of a 37mm on wheel or light track support only would result in frame damage or cracking.

 

So if you want a moving column with AAA support, you can only use 20mm or smaller types.

 

Wasn't until the later converted tanks with 37mm or larger weapons were built that these could fire without deployed supports.

 

These would be vehicles like the Wirbelwind or Crusader III AAA tanks.

 

Mission builders should also know the 88mm guns which are on their wheels cannot fire... only the versions on the support structure can fire.

 

By the way, we are looking at adding an Italian truck mounted 20mm AAA gun in a later patch... in the meantime, use the German 20mm truck/halftracks for Italian columns.

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Yes, but I think there is some misunderstanding. The Krupe Protze 3.7cm is used as an anti-tank gun, not an anti-aircraft gun. It isn't designed to be fired when moving, but it is able to be fired from the vehicle without being unloaded or lowering supports. Anyway, it is being used to represent this:

https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2011/09/world-war-ii-the-north-african-campaign/100140/#img19

 

P.S.

In terms of anti-aircraft guns - what I'd desire are more vehicles with light machine guns... to capture some of the 'volume fire' that could come from infantry - as mentioned in the thread about objects.

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