Home Forums WWII Tank commanders & closed hatches Reply To: Tank commanders & closed hatches

Les Hammond

Les, I think your default is spot on for Soviet tanks, but not is respectfully necessarily valid, in my opinion, for others, especially Germans and western Allies after at least France 1940, if not earlier.

Interesting, Tim, that you mention the different types of cupola, etc. Perhaps I should fully penalise the spotting for tanks with crude cupolas but only a partial penalty for the more swanky designs…Hmmm. I already have firing penalties for one-man turrets. Also 1940 is my period exactly, when was the doctrine changed that you refer to around then?

…At least one German tank, the Panzer II, and I also believe the 38(t) and 35(t), had 2 man turrets with the commander acting as the gunner exactly like the Soviets. Such a configuration doesn’t operate as well with the commander hatches up… but then the commander spots the enemy on top then slides down to operate the gunner and somehow reorient the turret to point the gunner’s telescope at the target he spotted when his head stuck up outside the turret.

I have to believe the commander in a two man turret who operates as the loader instead of as the gunner can operate effectively hatches up as I did this in a Scorpion turret (on a wheeled chassis) myself. 😀

For traditional 3 man turrets (the KV-1 had a 3 man turret, did not operate in the traditional manner), the commander may drop down into the turret without closing the hatch, especially when close to infantry. In built up areas or wooded areas, and possibly under sustained artillery fire, the commander may well close his hatch. In general though, doctrine is to operate with head out of the hatch. We were taught eyes only above the turret ring.

Maybe you could have the default the opposite for the countries I’ve mentioned? With players able to specify closed down, of course.

It’s not really a skirmish set of rules but I think I will look into what tasks in the turret might suffer if a crew member had to fill in (wireless operation and the rate of fire spring to mind).

Sorry about the CO business, I got lazy typing ‘commander’

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 5 months ago by Les Hammond.

6mm France 1940