Without any doubt, between 1942 and 1944 (the year of this fictional scenario) many things have changed. The sophistication and widespread use of combined arms, which translates into the concept of accompanying infantry, is one of them.
In this short mission report, you will find out how the accompanying infantry turned out to be more dangerous than the tanks themselves.
I made a custom scenario in which 3 German tanks are to pass through a small Norman village. They are supported by 3 squads of scouts. I edited the waypoints and synchronized them so the infantry and the tanks move at the same pace, with the infantry some fifty meters ahead as the entire force approaches the village.
I play as a US Army squad leader and our mission is to delay the enemy or (if possible at all) destroy the tanks. We have three anti-tank rocket launchers, AKA "bazookas", at our disposal.
|A panoramic view of the area of operations. A German force (3 tanks plus an infantry recon platoon) is moving through the road directly towards the village.|
|From the beginning of the scenario, I stayed at position A.|
|We could hear the panzers creaking their way from a long distance. Eventually, we could hear the German officers pulling the troops into the village. The first contact was made at position A and we opened fire immediately.|
|The sounds of enemy fire on position B distract me enough to get shot by enemy infantry at the street (to my left in this screenshot).|
|The enemy infantry has crossed the street at many points. The BAR at position C has failed to stop them. In this screenshot I am engaging enemy infantry at our left flank.|
The narrow field of fire of the BAR at position A, intended to engage a limited amount of enemy infantry at a time, was quickly abolished by the fire superiority of a single enemy MG42. Rate of fire matters, it turns out, and the R in BAR stands for rifle ... Not machinegun.