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"Blind shooting"

Discussion in 'Military Training, Doctrine, and Planning' started by AlanHR, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. AlanHR

    AlanHR New Member

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    Hi there!

    I have a tanking question for either ex-tankers or active ones.

    For example you are using tank which has only optical sights (WWII tank). Something (bush, tree or whatever) is completely obscuring your LoS to target but commander can see it since hes in elevated position. If commander gives you bearing, target distance and gives fire order would you blindly shoot or tell him you don't have eyes on the target? I know that situation is highly specific and can happen but is it general RoE for commander to talk gunner into target while his sight is obscured or just an exception?

    Please move thread if its in wrong section.

    Thanks
     
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    Seems to me that if the CO ordered me to fire I'd fire.
     
  3. AlanHR

    AlanHR New Member

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    Fire into what if you don't see the target?
     
  4. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    "Five degrees right, up 100, let's see what happens."
     
  5. AlanHR

    AlanHR New Member

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    Interesting. So you would rather risk exposing your position by shooting at nothing/missing target than telling CO you cannot see the target and ask if vehicle can be moved left or right by 1-2 m so your sight is not obscured any more. Fair enough. Thanks for the answer.
     
  6. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The conversation would probably be something like
    Commander: Target at 1 O'clock 1000m.
    Gunner (after turning to bearing): I have no target. Vegetation obscures.
    at that point the TC can either move the vehicle or fire in either case the crew is expected to follow orders. Note that if it's not an armored target a range and bearing could well be good enough with HE although the TC could likely engage such a target with his own mg. Note also that US tanks were used on a number of occasions for indirect fire where by definition your target is at least somewhat obscured.
     
  7. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    That scenario is one where the tank accepts orders from the CO. That does happen.
     
  8. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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  9. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    It's not like you have to pay for your own shells.
     
  10. AlanHR

    AlanHR New Member

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    I know that happens as I wrote in initial post but is it standard RoE or exception for specific situations.

    Also I know what indirect fire means. Artillery shoots inderctly.
     
  11. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    If the situation requires it, the CO should order it.
     
  12. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    BTW, the ROE vary from country to country and sometimes vary from service to service in a country. And sometimes they're more like guidelines than rules.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    And over time as well. However if you elect not to follow orders you better have a very good reason (and even that may not help) or you are in a lot of trouble.

    In this case the gunner should provide the information to his TC that he can't see the target but then it's up to the TC to decide what to do. Remember also that not every shot is fired with the intent of killing or destroying a particular target. Sometimes fire is meant to influence how the enemy moves and/or reacts.
     
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  14. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    "We can't teach how combat will be for you, we can only teach you what it was like for us."
     
  15. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I'm not sure this makes any sense. While I know both German tanks and Shermans had the ability to bring the turret around to a rather precise deflection, it would be really hard to set the elevation so that the round comes anywhere close enough that the commander can spot it. The tank would have to have a bubble-level sight (sighting quadrant) that would give exact elevation and in your example the tank only has its direct fire sights. Then it would be a long time and ammo consuming process to bracket in the rounds until a hit is achieved. If the target is mobile it would have oodles of time to move. If the tank gun's smoke/flash is observed, which is likely, then the enemy can call in their own arty to take out the tank or at least make it move which would then have to start all over. I'm sure it could be done but to my old mind it's a tactical absurdity. The tank is designed for direct fire. Why not just move the tank to a hull down position, pop up and let him have it and do it right? It's quicker, easier and just as safe.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  16. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I believe the CO would not give those orders if he didn't think the results would be useful.
     
  17. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I'm saying that in response to the original question, it would not be a normal SOP to engage a target with a tank. In fact, I can't thing of any situation where this type of engaging the enemy would be helpful. Can you think of one?
     
  18. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    The one thing I learned on active duty was that no situation is too ridiculous to occur in battle sooner or later.
     
  19. harolds

    harolds Member

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    Ok, O-P, I'll take your answer to my question as a "no" but I'll agree that at some time and place it may have happened. Certainly, the chances of the method discussed here being successful are rather slim.
     
  20. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish WW2|ORG Editor

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