Squad Leading in World War 2 missions
The following will be a quick and short guide for Squadleaders in FK when we play World War 2 missions. (Some of this can also be applied to Vietnam-era missions.) I am not a trainer, but I do have tags and experience in Squad Leading in Vietnam and WW2 missions.
1. Differences from normal missions
- No Short Range Radios
- Long Range Radio on a Radioman
- no GPS/no BFT
- We get Whistles
- Weapons are mostly slow firing (see Kar 98, Mosin Nagant etc. are all bolt action rifles and very different from a modern assault rifle).
- Scopes are rarely employed and not everybody has binoculars.
As a SL you need to be aware of these circumstances. It’s gonna be the case for most missions. This results in less coordination, a different quality of communication and a general increase in difficulty. The lack of GPS tracking also means that landmarks become a lot more important as do your eyes on the landscape. You will find yourself looking at the map less than in normal missions.
2. Squad Structure
In our normal mission we get two teams that are able to work together closely. They are coordinated by a SL over longer distances (by using the SR). This is not possible in WW2. Here teams are much less important. A common action would be to leave your TL, the AR and their buddy behind to cover a movement by the rest of the squad.
Additionally the Squad should also stick closer together. Getting shot, falling unconscious and not being discovered happens a lot easier than in normal missions. If people are closer together, they’re more easily discovered.
3. Tips for Squadleaders
- Set rally points (RP): These can be buildings, intersections, rock formations, churches, landmarks, vehicles; Basically anything that catches the eye and is fairly unique in the area.
- Don’t say “move North” - say “move North to the wreckage of the Panzer 4”
- If you split up your squad, make sure a RP is set for both success and failure. Where do you retreat, if shit hits the fan? Where do you go, once the objective is achieved? These questions should be answered before moving out.
- Keep track of your position, by referencing landmarks, being aware of where you’re moving, keeping attention up. Don’t mindlessly walk somewhere and do the surprised pikachu face when you die because of it.
Whistles can be useful to relay your position. They can be heard from farther away than yelling. There are a few different methods of utilizing whistles.
- Whistleblow as an attention grab (can then be followed up by yelling or gestures
- Whistleblow means rally up on the blowers position
- It is not advised to use prepared “codes”. They can get mixed up or missed or mixed in with different whistles. It’s not reliable and confusing.
- Coloured smokes can have the same effect, although they’re less “attention grabbing”.
- Use gestures. Ace comes with those. Use them to identify yourself as friendly to get people to come to you, or stay where they are. Talk to your Squad about the gestures before the mission starts.
- Instruct your TL to use their initiative a lot more when they’re not around you. They are your 2nd in Command, they should also be yelling at people.
- Encourage people to repeat orders out loud to make sure the entire squad hears it. For example, when you say “Alpha, move North to the Panzer 4 wreckage”, your squadmates should also repeat it to make sure it propagates to the whole squad.
- Be flexible. Things can change quickly in most scenarios, but it can happen even quicker with slower paced weapons. If it is clear that an approach is not going to work, try to ensure you have options with alternative routes etc.
- State intent. Before an assault/ attack, give some high level details as to what the goal is, and high level of how it will be done. This means that if leadership elements go down, you are not leaving your section to roam around completely blind. They still know what the goal is.
4. What to do as a Rifleman
I am including this section for riflemen to read and for SLs to brief their riflemen on. SLing is hard. It gets even harder in a WW2 setting. So as a rifleman you gotta do everything in your power to make it easier for your SL.
- Do not run off. Always make sure at least one other person knows where you are and even better: Get permission from your SL directly.
- Check on your buddy/other fireteam members often both visually and verbally. It takes longer to direct a Medic to a casualty than a typical modern mission
- Look at your SL. A lot. They might be using gestures to get you to do something.
- Listen to your SL. This is the only way for you to get information, since there is no SR.
- Let yourself get micro-managed. Ask your SL “where do you want me sitting?” or “do you want me to point the MG42 down the road South?”
Talk and shout to provide information to those around you.
- Orders from your SL? Get on yelling and repeat their exact words
Somebody shouts contact rear? Repeat those words.
- Make sure everybody hears. Instruct others to repeat stuff as well. (People might know this as “passing it down the chain”)
- Listen to your TL as he is the 2ic no matter your assigned colour.
- In a similar vein to above, make sure to be able to communicate with your Squad Medic clearly and be able to direct others to do so. There is no Short Range, no GPS markers so verbally communicating and potentially leading the medic to CAT1 Casualties is even more critical than before.
5. Specialties of a German squad with an MG 42
I want to quickly mention the Germans and their MG42s. Most German squads historically had an MG42 and their infantry doctrine would revolve around it. The MG42’s position is the anchor and everybody else works around it. This makes the MG42 gunner highly important. If they fall the others are likely to follow. This can be applied to other heavy ARs as well.
6. The Radioman
The radioman will be utilized in some missions as the only person with a Long-Range-Radio in the Squad. They should be a part of the SL’s team and be glued to their ass, unless the SL needs something specific that they can not use anybody else for. The SL having constant access to the Net is essential. When giving the radioman transmissions it is important to clarify the intent. This can be done by being very accurate or telling the radioman to repeat what the SL is saying word for word (however this might get tedious).
Thanks to Sarissa, Badger, Garfield, Riccardi, Servok and Tomo for proofreading and adding stuff
Edited by ThePointForward