Possible DLC for Steel Division 2 with Romanian Armed Forces of WW2

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steppewolf
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Possible DLC for Steel Division 2 with Romanian Armed Forces of WW2

Postby steppewolf » Sat 12 Jan 2019 17:06

Well, since Steel Division 2 will feature Eastern Front I think a future DLC may incorporate an operation that started one day after Bragration resumed and was carried out by Stavka with three main objectives:

Politically, the new offensive intended to knock Romania out of the war, then Soviet troops would advance into Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, outflanking the Germans and, hopefully, forcing Hungary to sue for peace.

The second objective was the destruction of German forces in Romania.

Finally, there was the economic objective. The Ploesti oil fields had to be seized.

This was Jassy-Khisinev Operation which started in 20th August. In Spring of 1944, a similar Soviet offensive failed.

To accomplish these objectives the Soviets planned to use Malinovsky's Second Ukrainian Front and Marshal Fyodor I. Tolbukhin's Third Ukrainian Front to strike in a pincer movement designed to isolate and destroy Army Group South Ukraine. Malinovsky's command consisted of seven armies and a mechanized cavalry group under General S.I. Gorshkov with a total of 537,856 men and 1,283 tanks and self-propelled (SP) guns. The Third Ukrainian Front had four armies and a mechanized cavalry group, commanded by General P. S. Pliev, totaling 348,633 men and 591 tanks and SP guns.

Image

Compared with Spring offensive, German command moved out of Romania 9 Panzer and Panzer Grenadier divisions, some of them being elite thus weakening seriously Army Group South Ukraine.


Field Marshall Antonescu, the leader of Axis Romania warned even Hitlers himself since the beginning of the year that without mobile armored forces Moldova cannot be held and he proposed a retreat toward Focsani-Namoloasa-Galati (FNG sometimes named FNB) fortified line.

As context, Hitler refused in 1944 and didn’t provided the armor requested by Romania for its oil nor the additional armored mobile forces necessary to stop a Soviet massed assault.

In 20th August, German South Ukraine Army Group (Generaloberst Johannes Friessner) consisted of the following Axis forces:

Army Group Dumitrescu:

Romanian 3rd Army
- General Petre Dumitrescu

2nd Corps:
protected the coast round Dobrogea and the Marines and Frontier Guard units protected the Danube Delta to their north with (9th, 10th Infantry, 9th Training divisions and Marine detachments)

3rd Corps was positioned on the far right of the Axis line on the Bessarabian coast with some experienced divisons: 110th Infantry Command, 2nd, 15th Infantry Divisions)

German XXIX Corps (Romanian 21st Infantry, 4th Mountain divisions, German 9. Infanteriedivision and a Stug battalion in tactical reserve)

In 3rd Army reserve: Romanian 1st Cavalry and Romanian 10th Infantry (on Lower Danube)

German 6th Army:General der Artillerie Maximilian Fretter-Pico

This army was deployed between Khisinev and Jassy in a hilly area which have a highly fragmented relief, the plateau resembles the look of some low mountains. The landslides occupy considerable areas, often affecting localities, agricultural lands, transport routes which are rare and were inadequate for armor and mechanized operations due to the nature of the terrain and the positioning of the roads. It didn't enter in major fights until 21st August in the evening as initially the Soviet offensive wasn't considered a major operation.

Dumitrescu group's mobile defense consisted of:
13th Panzer Division - Generalleutnant Hans Tröger
306th Infantry Division
76th Infantry Division - General der Infanterie Erich Abraham
178 Training Infantry Division

Army Group Wohler:

Romanian 4th Army:

It was deployed around Jassy in two main defensive lines and covered an area which ended at the foothills of Carpathians

7th Corps (103rd and 104th Mountain Commands)
1st Corps (6th and 20th Infantry Divisions)
5th Corps (4th Infantry and Royal Guard division)
4th Corps (5th Motorized Cavalry, 7th Infantry Division, 101st Mountain Command, German 76. ID, 3rd Infantry Division)
German LVII Corps (Romanian 1st and 13th Infantry Divisions, German 46. ID)

In reserve:
1st Armoured Division
8th Infantry Division
18th Mountain Division
German 20. Panzerdivision tanks
[url]8th Motorized Cavalry[/url] although not in the reserve of the 4th Army was deployed in northern Wallachia training its soldiers with the new tanks and old worn out equipment of 1st Armored. It was ordered to enter in Moldova and cover the units in retreat to FNB line


8th Army – General der Infanterie Otto Wöhler

This army was deployed around the foothills of Carpathians and included a Romanian Mountain Group. It wasn’t targeted by the Soviet spearhead.

In reserve:
10th Panzergrenadier Division - Generalleutnant August Schmidt
The Romanian Ski Unit, Der Rumänische Ski-Verband - a Romanian Mountain unit integrated in German Army

A fairly good description of the operations can be found here.. It is generally accurate but have some minor inaccuracies but it can be improved of course.

From game point of view, such Campaign DLC can provide some new and unique units and weapons such as Romanian IAR-80 fighter, IAR JRS 79B1 bomber, some Romanian light armor, Romanian 75 mm Resita AT gun (probably the best of this calibre of WW2), Romanian portee AA with French 13,2 and 25 mm guns, Orita SMG, scoped ZB vz.24 and loads of French, Czechoslovak, Polish and English weaponry (Schneider 47 mm, Bristol Blenheim, Skoda artillery and armor) along with some Romanian Divisions with interesting stories:

1st Armored Division
Guards Division
4th Mountain
18th Mountain
5th Cavalry
8th Cavalry

Here is a standard Infantry battalion organization in 1944 and here the whole collection of albums.

Please note that it is still work in progress and after I’ve made 1st Armored I stopped using links in imgur albums because they keep broke so I only paste information that may be

For German forces, some interesting high end weapons were present in Moldova during Jassy-Khisinev offensive such as Hetzers, Nashorn,Beute T-43, JagdPz IV/70, Wespe, Hummel, Hans Ulrich Rudel bomber sqdn. etc. along with some interesting Divisions from 6th or 8th German armies.

Soviet forces have also some interesting units present in the area like Armenian tank regiment, a Soviet Sherman brigade (I have this guy's memoirs) and this is only stuff I stumbled upon while making the research of Romanian armed forces in the area.

From campaign point of view, it may be pictured like a classical Soviet pincher offensive to reach FNB line while from Axis point of view as a defensive battle to retreat on the FNB line as many forces as possible. Or it can be pictured even the 23rd August coup.

This retreat was seriously taken into consideration by Antonescu and even ordered on 22nd August since it was estimated that due to the extensive defensive works on this line, with flanks protected by Carpathians and Lower Danube, a resistance of at least 6 months against Soviet armor armies was possible. Any input is of course welcome.
Last edited by steppewolf on Sun 17 Feb 2019 14:39, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Possible DLC for Steel Division 2 with Romanian Armed Forces of WW2

Postby kvadrat spoon rest » Sat 12 Jan 2019 22:50

I'd buy it.

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Re: Possible DLC for Steel Division 2 with Romanian Armed Forces of WW2

Postby Destraex » Sun 13 Jan 2019 01:31

I'd buy it as well. Love to see the Italians, Hungarians etc in it. I think some are already in SD2.
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Re: Possible DLC for Steel Division 2 with Romanian Armed Forces of WW2

Postby steppewolf » Sun 13 Jan 2019 02:07

Destraex wrote:I'd buy it as well. Love to see the Italians, Hungarians etc in it. I think some are already in SD2.


A Hungarian Division will be probably in SD2, 1st Royal Hungarian Cavalry Division. Hungary did not had troops at the time of Bagration on Eastern Front, only some rear security units. This cavalry unit was assigned in the area for anti partisan operations. But since the Soviets break the front line it was rushed into battle.

Italians were on the side of Allies at the time of Bagration, only some Italian Fascist sympathizers were gathered in northern Italy and had some equipment which allowed them to form few brigades. But on Eastern front, Italian and Hungarian participation ceased after Stalingrad.
Last edited by steppewolf on Mon 14 Jan 2019 12:56, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Possible DLC for Steel Division 2 with Romanian Armed Forces of WW2

Postby kvadrat spoon rest » Sun 13 Jan 2019 12:15

The big problem I forsee is that Eugen in the past has mentioned maps are the most time consuming thing to do. Maybe their processes have improved, but it might be a hangup for why they might not do a DLC in an entirely new region.

Also, I can't tell for sure, but I think Soviet naval infantry were involved?

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Re: Possible DLC for Steel Division 2 with Romanian Armed Forces of WW2

Postby steppewolf » Sun 13 Jan 2019 12:32

kvadrat spoon rest wrote:The big problem I forsee is that Eugen in the past has mentioned maps are the most time consuming thing to do. Maybe their processes have improved, but it might be a hangup for why they might not do a DLC in an entirely new region.

Also, I can't tell for sure, but I think Soviet naval infantry were involved?


Moldova is not very much different of Ukraine or Eastern Europe in general, I don't think this is an issue at all. With some minor changes even the bocage area will suit it well.

Soviet Naval infantry was involved but in a secondary direction (on the map I posted from Akkerman) and anyway Romanian units from respective area were anyway retreating since their flanks were exposed to main attack column from Tiraspol.

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Re: Possible DLC for Steel Division 2 with Romanian Armed Forces of WW2

Postby [EUG]MadMat » Thu 24 Jan 2019 19:37

Again, nice work. :)

One question: had the ViCKERS-RESITA 75 MM AA anti-tank capabilities, like the German 88mm or Soviet 85mm AA guns?
Or was it more like the French AA 75mm gun as we have ti for the Gross paris garrison in SD1?

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Re: Possible DLC for Steel Division 2 with Romanian Armed Forces of WW2

Postby steppewolf » Sat 26 Jan 2019 15:51

[EUG]MadMat wrote:Again, nice work. :)


Thanks, I've made available more imgur albums

[EUG]MadMat wrote:One question: had the ViCKERS-RESITA 75 MM AA anti-tank capabilities, like the German 88mm or Soviet 85mm AA guns?
Or was it more like the French AA 75mm gun as we have ti for the Gross paris garrison in SD1?


Yes, 75mm Vickers antiaircraft gun model 1936/39 was used as AT gun starting with 1942 when situation required albeit it was not such a wide practice. My grandpa used this gun during WW2, he said that the gun was excellent but the recoil was quite strong and usually the soldier in charge with aiming had a black eye all the time.

First recorded use as AT gun was during Stalingrad battle when Soviet tank columns reached Kapovka airfield. 2 AA batteries, one of 75 mm Vickers/Resita model 1936/39 and one of 37mm Rheinmetallat were near the airfield and together with the Bf-109Es raised on barrels to be able to fire horizontally managed to repulse several tank assaults and claiming 5 Soviet heavy tanks. The 7th Fighter Group eventually got away. As the last airplanes were taking off under shelling, they saw the gunners firing until the last moment at the Soviet tanks approaching them (Axworthy).

I have no data available for penetration but comparison of muzzle velocity with some AT guns is as follows:

75 mm AA Resita: 750 m/s
75 mm Pak 40: 792 m/s
75 mm Pak 97/38: 570 m/s
Ordnance QF 75 mm (tank gun): 610 m/s

The 75 mm Pak 40 could penetrate 132 mm at 90 degrees at 500 meters so possible Vickers-Resita AA had aprox 100-110 mm armour penetration based on the muzzle velocity.

The Resita AA wasn't really suited to AT role (heavy, tall, lacked the shield, could not fire from the carriage and was slow to deploy if we compare with AA guns) but but due to ballistic qualities were also deployed as AT guns. 30 000 AP shells were made by Costinescu for this AA gun. (source: Axworthy - Third Axis, Fourth Ally). Some were used late in war on Bofors twin axle carriage and with a shield but largely it remained mainly an AA weapon/

In fact, "Costinescu round" was an armor piercing-tracer shell, which was built at the Sinaia factories, combining the German model PzGr-40 with VICKERS cartridge which made it usable by most Romanian rebored 75 mm guns e.g. captured Russian 76.2 mm F-22 Md. 36. Even if these rebored guns were field guns they received Costinescu rounds. The improvement was marginal due to muzzle velocity.

Some Vickers were deployed in the timeline around the front area, mainly around Jassy or Lower Danube/Black Sea/Dnister Esturary/Tiraspol areas. In 22nd August few batteries of Vickers 75 mm and German 88 mm from Ploiesti were ordered to deploy on FNB line in anti-tank positions.

However, due to its performance it become apparent in 1943 that from Romanian arsenal, only the Vickers-Resita high velocity had the potential to penetrate Soviet medium and heavy armor tanks and it was used as basis to develop the excellent 75 mm Resita Model 1943.

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Re: Possible DLC for Steel Division 2 with Romanian Armed Forces of WW2

Postby steppewolf » Sat 26 Jan 2019 20:13

Now that you asked about Vickers, here is his "child", 75 MM Resita md. 1943 Anti tank gun (Tun Anticar Resita 75 mm in Romanian)

In mid-1942 Romania began to experiment with AT potential of larger guns and it become immediately apparent that only the high velocity Resita/Vickers had the potential to penetrate Soviet medium and heavy tanks. An order of 30.000 armour-piercing Costinescu shells was immediately placed . On at least two occasions during the battle of Stalingrad, Vickers/Resita claimed Soviet medium and heavy tanks.

However the Resita Vickers gun was not destined to become the Romanian army’s pocket 88 because it was too heavy (2500 kgs), could not fire from his carriage, was slow to deploy and had a very high profile and no gun shield thus it was required a specialized gun.

Two of the Romanian army’s major deficiencies were its lack of powerful AT gun and the obsolescence of its light field guns.
The idea of building a dual purpose anti-tank and field gun was first raised on 2nd June 1942 , colonel Nestorescu known for his expertise acquired during the caliber unification of Russian, French and German field guns in the 1930 and the assimilation of licenses for Vickers 75 mm AA and 120 mm mortar was charged with preparing a report. Taking into consideration the performance of latest German and Soviet anti-tank guns and the limited technical capacity of Romanian industry, he suggested that the proposed Romanian AT gun should not be of original design because testing would take too long but should combine the features of those proven guns already in service in Romania or captured.

His suggestion was accepted and developed was entrusted to the technical division of Ministry of Supply and the production was assigned to Resita factory for its experienced with the Vickers. The Romanian artillery provided Nestorescu’s team with all examples of appropriate Romanian, German and Soviet guns available and three prototypes were produced from pieces adapted from the Soviet 76.2 mm M1936 and M1942 field guns, Vickers/Resita 75 mm M1936/1939 AA gun and German 75 mm Pak 40 AT gun.
The third prototype was a 75 mm piece which used muzzle brake, recoil and firing mechanism and carriage of Soviet Zis M1942 field gun, the barrel rifling and cartridge chamber from Vickers/Resita AA gun and the projectile chamber from German Pak 40. The gun has 680 components, more than the 610 pieces of the Soviet gun but a great deal fewer than the 1200 pieces of the more complex Pak 40. The initial velocity was 1030m/s compared with 745 m/s of Soviet gun and 990 m/s of Pak 40. It thus combined the virtues of both, approaching the simplicity and range of one and exceeding the penetrative power of the other.

Image

The steel alloy of the barrel contained nickel, molybdenum, chrome which have a resistance of 100 kgf/mm2 and symbolized as RNCM-110 (acronym of Romanian steel with nickel, chrome and molybdenum with resistance to break 110 kgf/square millimeter)

The split trial carriage gave an increase in the firing arc and was extremely stable, allowing three rounds to be fired in six seconds before requiring adjustment or a different aiming. A firing rate of up to 20 rounds / minute could be achieved compared with 15 rounds/minute from the Soviet gun Hourly supported rated were way better than most 75 mm guns allowing 240-280 fired rounds compared with the official regulations' figure which was 120). The shield comprised two 6 mm armor plates set 2 cm apart. The shells (made by same Costinescu) combined feature of those of the German Pak 40 and Vickers M1936 75 AA guns. The prototype was tested and refined throughout the summber of 1943 and only set back was that barrel life was only 500 rounds of AP due to the high velocity.

Image

In September 1943 comparative tests were held of the three prototypes, their Soviet and German AT competitors (Zis 3 and Pak 40), a Resita built copy of the Zis 3 and M1902/36 75 mm Putilov. The DT-UDR Nr. 26 Md. 1934 proved to have the greates armour piercing capacity. In October tests were held before Marshall Antonescu, in the same day as a demonstration of Maresal tank destroyer prototype. The promising possibility of marrying the two weapons was immediately realized and a joint development team was set up.

On October 23, 1943, on the same firing range, in front of Marshal Ion Antonescu and other officials, the tests had been repeated, using eight armor plates, all of 100mm thickness. Four of them had been placed at 30 degrees and 300m, next three at 30 degrees and 500m, and the last one at 1000m vertically. The third prototype("DT-UDR Nr. 26, Md. 1943") penetrated all the eight plates.
The DT-UDR Nr. 26 Md. 1934 renamed “Tac-75-Nr. 26” but popularly referred to as the “75 mm Resita, 1943 Md.” Was quickly put into production and on 10 December 1943 an initial order of 1100 pieces was placed with Resita, Astra in Brasov and Concordia in Ploiesti.

Image

The first 24 batch was issued to 1sr Armored Division in the spring of 1944 and later to newly created 36 guns army anti-tank regiments (for 3rd and 4th Army) were created from the disbanded Frontier Guards division. The next batches were issued mainly to the infantry and cavalry divisions’ anti-tank betteries from Moldova. By the end of 1944, 342 pieces were produced but despite heavy losses from August 1944, all divisions had at least 6 each and in some cases 12 of its original 2 divisional batteries in February 1945.

Its tractor before August 1944 was RSO/1 but most were horse drawn thereafter. It was supposed to be used with a Romanian built derivative of the Soviet Stalinetz tractor known as T-1 which was specifically designed for this gun but only 5 prototypes were produced.

Image

The combat record of the gun against Soviet armor at the battle of Iasi-Chisinau was lost but on one occasion during the subsequent campaign against the German and Hungarians a Resita AT gun knocked out 3 Pz. IV in a rapid succession. Comparisons show the Resita 75mm to have been arguably the most versatile gun of its class in WW2 outperforming its German, Soviet and Western equivalents. For a country with such limited experience and industrial base this was a very creditable achievement.

Supposedly it would be in Steel Division: Normandy 44, its features will be the following: 1200 mm range, better penetration than Pak 40, quick 3 successive rounds in 6 seconds, better general rate of fire than Pak 40 and HE ammo in limited numbers as it was supposed to be an field gun as well.


Comparative data:

Type ZIS 76.2 / PaK 40 / Resita 1943

Cal. 76.2mm / 75mm / 75mm

Weight 1200kg / 1570kg / 1430kg

Barrel length 3.485m / 3.71m / 3.625m

Rifling length 2.57m / 2.852m / 2.5m

Elevation -5deg to +35deg / -4deg to +22deg / -7deg to +35deg

Traverse 55deg / 65deg / 70deg

Fire Direct+indirect / Direct only / Direct+indirect

Number of elements 610 / 1200 / 680

Muzzle velocity 725-745m/s / 770-990m/s / 840-1030m/s

Shell weight 6.7-6.4kg / 6.8-4.1kg / 6.6-4.1kg

Muzzle energy 175t / 205t / 235t

Max range 12km / 10km / 12km(up to 1.5km effective penetration with AP shell)

Rate of fire 12-15rds/min / ? / 20rds/min

Armour penetration: ? / 106 mm at 500 m (30 deg) / Over 100 mm at 500 m (30 deg)

Sources:
Axworthy - Third Axis, Fourth Ally
Artileria Romana in date si imagini - Editura Militara (Romanian Artillery in data and images, Military Publishing House, pdf available)

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Re: Possible DLC for Steel Division 2 with Romanian Armed Forces of WW2

Postby steppewolf » Thu 31 Jan 2019 17:56

I added an Infantry Division (probably 95% done), the 10th along with its attached unit, 110th Infantry Brigade.

This division was one of the most successful units and it fought very well in both World Wars although it was a territorial infantry normal division. 10th stayed on front line since June 1941 until May 1945 and only between April-May 1944 and August 1944 was was behind the front line. It is said that it never lost a battle in its sector and competes for this honour with 11th Infantry (which Regiments were break at some point but the division not).

Image

In game this division is supposed to be excellent infantry in close combat and anti-tank as a consequence of their experience and practical skills of 3 consecutive years of war in the select company of German corps, Romanian Cavalry Corps and Mountain Rangers Corps in Kuban / Crimeea / Ukraine but it will be less effective in open terrain late in the game. Their anti-tank and support is average at best and their power will fade gradually in last two phases.

Also you may take a new look to 4th Mountain which is 95% done. This is quite a diverse unit and include Romanian equivalent of Soviet Shtrafbat :)

Image

I didn't added aviation/planes yet as I need more time to research exact areas of action of FARR (Romanian Royal Air Force) during August 1944.

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