Home Forums WWII British bren and 2inch mortar crews

This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by MartinR MartinR 6 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #81717
    Grimheart
    Grimheart
    Participant

    A kind of weird question or two but ones that do sort of bug me a little!

    ToE’s generally show a bren gunner no 1 and his no2 as crew. However from what I have read in tactical use the two man bren crew was usually accompanied and controlled by the section Lance corporal while the section leader would lead the remaining troops, effectively making a gun group of 3.

    So do you base all your brens as a crew of two or add an extra to make three figures?

    With the 2 inch mortars the crew seems to vary between 3 in a rifle platoon, 2 in a motor infantry platoon and in a para platoon they were just handed out to the sections!

    So do you just stick to a two man crew for every one or do you vary between 2 and 3 in line with the various actual ToE’s?

    Interest include 6mm WW2, 6mm SciFi, 30mm Old West, DropFleet, Warlords Exterminate and others!

    #81720
    cmnash
    cmnash
    Participant

    For the Bren team I think it would depend on how the rest of the section is based and what level your is at.  If the rest of the section is based individually I’d have the Bren team as individuals too. I believe that the rest of the section were trained on the Bren, so if the gunner went down, one of the riflemen would take up the weapon and the no.2 would be replaced as well. I don’t believe that the junior L-Cpl should become part of the team; he would direct fire, but should still be separate – if the Cpl went down, the L-Cpl would have to replace him.

    I’ve only ever seen a 2″ team being 2 men – same as Boyes and PIAT teams

    The Bayonet Strength website is a great place for organisations – only on the internet archive at present:

    https://web.archive.org/web/20160426180718/http://www.bayonetstrength.150m.com:80/British/Infantry/british_infantry_battalion.htm

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    #81723
    John D Salt
    John D Salt
    Participant

    I believe that the rest of the section were trained on the Bren, so if the gunner went down, one of the riflemen would take up the weapon and the no.2 would be replaced as well.

    Mr. Picky says that the no.2 replaces the no.1, and you would then pick a new no. 2 from the rifle group.

    In my TA days we still used Brens (L4s) as we were an internal security battalion, and almost invariably working short-handed. Even when we could produce 8-man sections, the gun group was still probably going to be just two men; same with the GPMG group when I was in the UOTC. I think the attitude was that a competent gun group didn’t need supervision from a JNCO. Mind, the gun group I remember best was composed of two Corporals, one of whom was the armourer; they knew each other and the job extremely well, and could move the Bren like greased lightning and get it into action in no time flat.

    All the best,

    John.

    #81724
    cmnash
    cmnash
    Participant

    Mr. Picky says that the no.2 replaces the no.1, and you would then pick a new no. 2 from the rifle group.

    and he would be quite right – I sit corrected!

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    #81738
    MartinR
    MartinR
    Participant

    I used to base my 6mm chaps with a three man gun group, but my 15 and 20mm chaps only get two as that fits better on the base.

    2″ mortars were issued as a personal weapon, although Irl they may have had some helpers to carry some bombs around. I base them as two figs, but actually slightly regret that. At some point I may go back and base them individually on Pennies (it is only a couple of blokes, same as a sniper team).

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

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