Tactical Review of the Girls und Panzer Anzio Battle: OVA

The manga and anime versions of the Anzio match differ in some significant respects. Not only are there differences in terrain but also in team compositions. We thought we’d review both individually and then offer our opinions from a tactical standpoint. In order to keep posts to a reasonable length, we decided to split the tactical reviews into separate posts, starting with the anime OVA.

Team Composition

Oarai

  • Panzer IV Ausf D (Anglerfish team)
  • StuG III (Hippo team)
  • Type 89 (Duck team)
  • M3 Lee (Rabbit team)
  • Panzer 38(t) (Turtle team) (Flag Tank)

Anzio

  • Carro Amato P40 75/34 (Commanded by Anchovy) (Flag Tank)
  • Semovente M41 da 75/18 (3)
  • Carri Veloce 33 (6) (Pepperoni commanding group).

Note: Greater detail and in-depth analysis for both school’s lineups can be found in our Girls und Panzer Anzio OVA Primer.

Terrain

Forested hill area with flatter stretch of terrain near the top. There is a switchback that Oarai needs to climb to engage Anzio. Anzio is on more level terrain and closer to a crossroads area which is to the left of the switchback.

Initial Deployment

Oarai

The Panzer IV takes the lead up the switchback followed by the StuG, M3 Lee, and Panzer 38(t) while the Type 89 has been sent ahead to scout the crossroads area. The Type 89 (on Oarai’s right flank) sees three CV33s and two Semoventes on the north side of the crossroads. Upon Momo’s and Anzu’s encouragement, Miho decides to move forward and attack, but Oarai’s main force will stick to the route while the M3 Lee is ordered to scout for the P40 on the left flank. The Type 89 (or The Duck Team) reports that they don’t see any movement from the Anzio tanks under observation nor do they hear any engine sounds. The M3 team (on Oarai’s left flank) reports that there are four CV33s and two Semoventes at the south side. (See Map 1 below)

Map 1

Map 1

Adding the both scouting reports together gives 11 Anzio vehicles not including the P40! Since the second round limit is 10 tanks, Miho realizes something is wrong and orders both the M3 Lee (or Rabbit Team) and Type 89 (or Duck Team) to attack. The result is that the decoys are destroyed and Miho realizes Anzio’s plan (See Map 2 below).

Anzio

Anzio sends the six CV33’s lead by Pepperoni ahead to start Operation Macaroni which is to set up wooden tank decoys at two different points to confuse Oarai and lead them into trap in which Anzio will encircle Oarai. (See Map 2 below).

Map 2

Map 2

Engagement

Anzio’s CV33s are proceeding to attack Oarai from the rear when they are spotted by the Type 89 returning from reconnaissance. They proceed to pick up speed to outrun them and reach the Oarai main force. As this is happening, the M3 spots two Semoventes but the gunner, Aya, thinks they’re just decoys and fires on them with the Semoventes returning fire. A running firefight ensues with two Semoventes chasing the M3 and the Type 89 chasing five CV33s. The CV33s then surround the Type 89 and harass it with ineffective MG fire while the Type 89 returns fire with both the main gun and MGs (machine guns). The Type 89 manages to hit three of the CV33s, but even though they’re knocked over, they’re not taken out. The M3 starts returning fire using its 37mm gun in the turret while still trying to get away from the two Semoventes.

Meanwhile, Anchovy is waiting in the P40 with the third Semovente and sixth CV33. Pepperoni tells Anchovy that they are under attack from the Type 89. When Pepperoni tells Anchovy they put out all the decoys, Anchovy realizes Pepperoni screwed up and Oarai discovered Anzio’s trap.   Anchovey orders the P40 and two escort vehicles to move out since Oarai is probably headed right for them.   Anchovy is almost immediately proven to be correct as she runs straight into the Panzer IV, StuG III and 38(t).

As the two teams cross paths, Carparrico recognizes the Hippo on the StuG as Caesar’s logo and tells the others that her Semovente will take on the Stug. The P40 goes off the road and down a slope to get away from the rest of Miho’s group. A running battle ensues with the Panzer IV and 38(t) running parallel to the P40 and the CV33 with both sides firing at each other as the StuG and the Semovente crash battle it out at very short range, practically jousting and even crashing into each other at times. As this is going on, the Type 89 is still being chased by the CV33s who still keep coming despite taking direct hits.

After consulting with Miho, the Type 89 begins to target the CV33s’ “weak points” with the result that the four of the pesky tankettes are finally down for good (white flag). As Anchovy gets the news about the eliminated CV33s, the CV33 that providing cover for her is taken out. She now aborts her encirclement plan and orders all of the remaining units back to cover the P40 flag tank (Operation Protractor). The remaining CV33 breaks off contact with the Type 89 and the two Semoventes chasing the M3 also break off to regroup with the P40.

Girls und Panzer Anzio OVA - Status Display

The Status Display shows the Panzer 38(t) running parallel to the P40 down a slope exchanging fire with them (See above picture). The CV33 being chased down the road by the Type 89. The two Semoventes also heading towards them at the crossroads while the StuG and other Semovente are still fighting it out. Anchovy figures out that that the Panzer IV isn’t with the Panzer 38(t). The M3 crew is now chasing the two Semoventes, eventually taking out one of them. Anchovy shakes off her concerns about where the Panzer IV’s location, and decides to concentrate on the Panzer 38(t) flag tank and win the match rather than wait for Anzio’s remaining vehicles to regroup with the P40. Her decision plays right into Miho’s plan which uses Oarai’s 38(t) flag tank as bait to lead the P40 (Anzio’s flag tank) into an ambush by the Panzer IV.

Eventually, the 38(t) is cornered against a small cliff, but manages to dodge fire from the P40. The Panzer 38(t) returns fire, but Momo isn’t getting any better and continues to miss wildly, The remaining Semovente arrives but goes over the edge of a cliff crashing next to the P40 and is immediately shot by the M3 and eliminated. Pepperoni in her CV33 comes rushing to Anchovy’s aid, but is hit by the Type 89, crashing into a Semovente as the P40’s shot on the Panzer IV is wide. The Panzer IV returns fire, disabling the P40 and winning the match.

Analysis and Comments

Bear

Anzio

One of the fun things about the OVA is that we get to see all of the Oarai teams get a chance to mix it up and get some “kills” in. The numerous tankettes provide good targets for the Type 89 for example. Frankly, other than that, there are just too many of them since taking out a tank with an MG is somewhat ridiculous. MG’s were often used to spray adjacent tanks to keep infantry off of them for example. Maybe a fifty cal firing on a thin skinned tank might do some damage but I doubt an 8mm would. Now if they had at least some of the tankettes as L3/35 cc ( “cc” stood for “contro carro” Antitank version which had a 20mm Solothurn AT rifle) they would have had at least some chance against the weaker armored Oarai tanks but otherwise they’re just good for scouting and harassment.

Now Operation Macaroni doesn’t seem like a bad plan in a general sense and assuming Pepperoni hadn’t screwed up. Stationing actual tanks with the decoys might have been a better approach though. That way the Oarai scouts would have heard engine noises and attempting to attack they might have been ambushed by one of the Semoventes that could have stayed hidden. Even one of the CV33’s might have been useful in that regard since they are better scouts than anything else. Not using the CV33’s as scouts was a major failure on Anchovy’s part. Miho used the M3 and Type 89 effectively to gain operational awareness instead of blindly running into Anchovy’s trap. Even when she abandoned Operation Macaroni Anchovy wound up being surprised by running into Miho’s column (of course Miho did too, but her scouts were rather busy at the time). Having the CV33 scout ahead would have been a better approach. Situational awareness isn’t the only thing in battle, but it’s damn important.

Now a better variation IMO would have been to place the decoys with at least one CV33 on one side of the crossroads, and one or two of the Semoventes on the other hidden hull down. That’s what they’re good at especially with their low profiles. Use the P40 for the encirclement if that’s your plan. That’s your best offensive weapon. Spread your CV33’s out to keep track of the Oarai tanks and harass them if necessary to keep them confused. That allows your P40 to avoid contact with the Oarai team until you have closed your trap. I also would have not made the P40 the flag tank. That’s your best weapon and if you use it effectively you risk your flag. Better to have one of the Semoventes or even a CV33 as the flag tank and keep it protected.

Oarai

I can’t find too much to complain about with Miho’s approach. Risking the flag tank at the end seemed like took much of a gamble however. One lucky shot and it’s over. Instead of pulling out and setting up the trap, why not just stop and let Anchovy get ahead? Miho essentially could have used her own advice to the Stug team: Stop and then shoot. Hana should have had an easy shot at the rear or side of the P40 at that point. Maybe even a couple before Anchovy figured out what had happened and managed to stop her rush down the hill. Of course the director had to contrive a situation that allowed the tanks to arrive at the positions they were in the episode from the regular series, so somehow the Panzer IV had to be above the P40 at the end. Putting the flag tank in jeopardy to draw the P40 in wasn’t the best move. Of course we see the Pravda team use the same tactic in the next match of having the flag tank draw fire to lure Oarai into a trap.

I do question whether using one of the weaker tanks (the Panzer 38(t) as the flag tank is a good idea. Neither using the weakest nor the best tank would seem to be the best tactical decision. The weakest is also the most vulnerable and the strongest makes it dangerous to fully utilize it in battle. Anchovy using the P40 was not the best choice either. I would have swapped the 38(t) with the M3 Lee. Use the 38(t) as the scout and keep the M3 with the main force and made it the flag tank. I also would have swapped the march order and put the StuG in front and the Panzer IV in the rear of the column. The StuG can only fire forward since it lacks a turret. Putting it in the rear of the column prevents it from returning fire since it is blocked by the other tanks and cannot fire to the rear. The Panzer IV can at least rotate its turret and return fire if they are ambushed.

daikama

Anzio

There’s a famous quote by Sun Tzu that “All warfare is based on deception.” True enough and Anzio takes that to heart with “Operation Macaroni”. However, wooden cut out fake tanks may fool some opponents – well, as long as they approach from the right direction, but long enough to make a lengthy encirclement? Then there’s the problem of encirclement itself. Only four of ten Anzio vehicles have any viable offensive capability, and IMO it’s hard to accomplish an effective encirclement with just four tanks/TDS.

My thoughts are similar to Bear’s in terms of what Anzio should have done (in addition to carrying only nine decoys). Use the decoys in conjunction with setting up an ambush. Have a Semovente hidden in hull down position (with an escape route), and place a CV33 among the decoys or close by for added realism and to act as additional spotter. Anzio might very well have taken out the Type 89 and M3 Lee early in the match, leaving Oarai with only two viable offensive tanks/TDs vs. four for Anzio.

Anchovy makes another mistake when not immediately regrouping once she realizes her trap has been discovered. Waiting until four CV33s are eliminated is too late and pointless. Leave a couple CV33s to occupy the Type 89, and use the rest as scouts/shields. Same goes for two Semoventes against the M3 Lee. Anzio’s lineup doesn’t allow for such luxury. Leave one Semovente to occupy the M3 Lee and recall the other one. A single CV33 is simply insufficient protection for Anzio’s flag tank. So if/when one Semovente goes off to battle the StuG III, another one is readily available to act as flag tank guard. That extra Semovente means Anchovy has a viable tank/TD to shadow, harass, and potentially disable the Panzer IV when it breaks off from the 38(t). Now the P40 can focus on the weaker 38(t) flag tank with substantially less risk!

As it was, Anchovy realized and accepted the risk she took and I won’t criticize her for doing so. It was a gamble, but also the ideal match up for Anzio with a moment of opportunity to win the match while the Panzer IV was away. However, Anchovy took a greater risk than necessary for the reasons noted above. As for the choice of flag tank, I’m not entirely sure I agree with Bear that the P40 is absolutely the wrong choice given Anzio’s line up. I definitely would not choose a CV33. I’d probably pick a Semovente as the flag tank but not without some reservation. Bear makes a valid point about freeing up your best tank, but on the other hand, what are Anzio’s chances of winning once the P40 is eliminated? Not very good IMO so I won’t hold it against Anchovy for choosing the P40 as the flag tank and freeing up her Semoventes to attack instead.

Overall, I think Anzio did a fairly good job. After all, they were one on-target shot by the P40 away from winning. Still, IMO Anchovy didn’t measure up to Miho in terms of tactics. Unlike Miho, she stuck to her initial plan too long and failed to adjust her tactics in timely manner.

   Oarai

Overall Oarai does a pretty good, if not spectacular, job. Miho sends out scouts on her flanks to recon the important cross roads. Good, though I thought the scouts were a little too far ahead of the main group. As usual, Miho displays her strengths as team commander by quickly determining her opponent’s strategy and promptly adjusting her own tactics accordingly. To Miho’s credit, Oarai manages to avoid Anzio’s trap. She also makes a reasonable decision to attack Anzio’s flag tank while Anzio’s forces are still spread out rather than regroup first. However, I agree with Bear that Oarai’s formation here is bad.  Miho got it in reverse order.  The StuG III should lead followed by the flag tank 38(t) and lastly the Panzer IV.

Another complaint I have is that Oarai fails to use the StuG III for ambushing and sniping. Granted the Hippo Team’s gunnery isn’t the most accurate, but given the terrain they might be lucky to have a firing lane of 500m let alone 1500m so I don’t think that’s much of an issue. Like Anzio, Oarai is not using these low silhouette TDs properly, and Miho had a good opportunity to do just that early in the match. She figured out Anzio’s plan, so why not use it against them? Pretend to take the bait and set up an ambush trap of your own using the StuG III and perhaps even  the Panzer IV. Oarai might have won the match right there!

Once the match breaks into its four separate engagements, there is not much in terms of tactics other than the Panzer IV and 38(t) flag tank vs. P40 (flag) and CV33. Here, the problem I have is Miho’s decision to use the flag tank alone as bait for an ambush. A thinly armored AND under-gunned flag tank. One hit from the P40 should equal instant elimination and an Anzio victory, while conversely, the 38(t)’s weak 37mm AT gun is unable to penetrate the P40’s frontal armor (excluding the possibility Oarai has APCR rounds for the 38(t) but let’s not go there). Besides, it’s not like Momo will hit her target. XD

Miho’s plan is RISKY, especially since the Panzer IV didn’t need to go all the way to the cliff. Break off momentarily then take out the P40 from behind. Of course things worked out in the OVA, but IMO taking such risks repeatedly will backfire on Miho one day (excluding deus ex author of course). So while I like the ambush idea in theory, Miho’s plan was too risky IMO, and I have to mark off for that. Finally, I agree with Bear that the 38(t) is not a good choice for Oarai’s flag tank though I would pick the StuG III over the M3 Lee. It’s much easier to hide/presents a smaller target than the 10 ft. tall M3, can snipe long range, and has better mobility if it needs to escape.


Thanks for reading Part II of our Girls und Panzer Anzio Battle coverage.  Please feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below.  Also, you may want to read Parts I and III – Girls und Panzer: Kore ga Hontou no Anzio-sen Desu! OVA – Review and Tactical Review of the Girls und Panzer Anzio Battle: Manga respectively.

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29 thoughts on “Tactical Review of the Girls und Panzer Anzio Battle: OVA

  1. Very interesting review – it made me think deeper about the whole affair as well.

    >tankettes as L3/35 cc ( “cc” stood for “contro carro” Antitank version which had a 20mm Solothurn AT rifle

    For what it is worth, the Gekkan Senshado actually specifically mentions they do have such vehicles. However, because Anzio values mobility, they are not enthusiastically adopted* … fortunately for Duck – otherwise, they might (probably) have been knocked out 🙂

    *I know. I got a sweatdrop feeling too. On the other hand, even with the rifle they are at a serious disadvantage and while a MG can be walked onto the target from a moving vehicle, a AT-rifle cannot. Perhaps they decided that the CVs would be more useful running around to harass the target rather than stopping to employ AT-rifles that are not that effective.

    >the Oarai scouts would have heard engine noises and attempting to attack they might have been ambushed by one of the Semoventes that could have stayed hidden

    A possible reason they didn’t do that may be because the specifics of the terrain did not allow for a good ambush position that would permit fire yet would hold up to a close range visual search. Do note that two Semoventes were indeed trying to hide in the woods a bit further south, but Azusa spotted them first. From the scene, they might have used the locality somewhat better than they actually did, but Azusa found them on-the-move (only the lack of a precious few millimeters of penetration on Aya’s 37mm saved them from a rapid demise) – whether an improvement would have held up to a careful search on the stop is a very big question mark.

    And if two Semoventes were spotted and eliminated early, Anchovy’s plan would be terminated very early. So instead Anchovy placed her Semoventes off away from the expected zone of action, ready to approach (covertly) once Oarai commits itself instead.

    >Not using the CV33’s as scouts was a major failure on Anchovy’s part.

    It is, but perhaps it is also a reflection on the qualities of Anchovy’s force. Scouting takes patience and if you want covert reconaissance it requires good judgment. The commanders of her CV33s don’t have it if Pepperoni is any indication.

    Another interpretation (that is supported by the booklet and also how Anchovy was asking for a progress report) is that had the CV33 group been allowed to finish its maneuver without meeting the Type 89, part of its mission as it came up behind Oarai (which would help reduce the chance of Oarai spotting them) would have been to scout. However, when they saw the Type 89, they decided to engage – which as I pointed out in Animesuki is not as meritless as the booklet seems to suggest, but any scout missions were terminated.

    >Instead of pulling out and setting up the trap, why not just stop and let Anchovy get ahead?

    Because Anchovy is already ahead (you can see this in the display on 29:17 and also from Anchovy’s comment – she actually says 追ってこないぞ, which is not so much “They are not coming” [as in Loligeddon’s sub] as “They are not chasing us”).

    >Hana should have had an easy shot at the rear or side of the P40 at that point.

    Here are some problems with this idea:
    1) Anchovy isn’t a bad gunner either. You will notice during the rumble and tumble down the slope, Anchovy actually got *more* sideswipes than Hana (26:52 and 26:57 vs none).
    2) Further, the P40’s turret was aimed backwards with its 50 millimeters of armor, while the Ausf D’s maximum armor is 30mm. Anchovy can win by hitting any part of the Ausf D with armor-piercing, while Hana has to either hit the hull (half target area) with AP or use Gr38 HEAT rounds with a reduced expectation of hit because WWII HEAT rounds are not very accurate.

    In short, despite Anchovy’s positional disadvantage, Anchovy’s tank was sufficiently superior that a straight up fight puts the Ausf D at the disadvantage.

    >Putting it in the rear of the column prevents it from returning fire since it is blocked by the other tanks and cannot fire to the rear. The Panzer IV can at least rotate its turret and return fire if they are ambushed.

    Actually, this is not the first time Miho made this mistake. This is the same formation she used in Ep6 after the Duck and Rabbit got sniped away. I guess she’s going on the principle of commander at the front (though in Ep6, the threats are all at the back!)

    >Anzio might very well have taken out the Type 89 and M3 Lee early in the match, leaving Oarai with only two viable offensive tanks/TDs vs. four for Anzio.

    The reverse is also true. If those ambushing TDs are spotted, it would not be very hard to tell that they are the real ones and then they will be killed. It is possible the Anchovy decided the concealment of the area is inadequate unless the enemy is really distracted.

    >Leave one Semovente to occupy the M3 Lee and recall the other one.

    I know this sounds similar to the idea I put up at Animesuki, but my plan was to do this only when they try to withdraw and the priority was to guarantee getting at least some help to Anchovy, thus the need for one to buy some, any time so the other can gain a greater distance.

    Also, to be fair Anchovy and/or the Semovente commanders … usually in Japanese HS Senshado if you managed to buy >1200 yards of distance from the enemy, you are safe, and maybe Anchovy decided to take the chance so she would be able to get the help of *two* Semoventes instead of guaranteeing the loss of one. (I think I said “might be better” for this reason).

    That’s for withdrawal. When Anchovy is still fighting at even odds, it is arguably premature to withdraw one of them. Remember that Rabbit Team is sucking the two Semoventes up, but the two Semoventes are also occupying Rabbit Team. With both of them working together, along with the narrow road (which is fairly penalizing on the unmaneuverable M3), they generated sufficient suppression on Rabbit Team to make them decide to not try to engage offensively. With only one Semovente, the suppressive force is worse than halved. At this point, Rabbit Team may well choose to take a chance and try to put the 75mm on them. By then, they know Rabbit Team is one of the rare tank crews in Japanese High School Senshado that can shoot (Aya hit one on her first attempt without even stopping), so they’ll be on the lesser half of a crap shoot.

    After that … the surviving Semovente will, if it doesn’t try to ambush Rabbit Team, presumably get into the fight first. However, if the Ausf D holds out for a short time, Rabbit Team will be able to get into the fight too, neutralizing that advantage. So to Anchovy, the decision to try to leave the 2 Semoventes to finish the job, then have both come back to assist, is actually quite attractive.

    >Oarai’s formation here is good with the StuG III in the lead followed by the flag tank 38(t) and lastly the Panzer IV.

    The StuG is in the back. Which is actually not bad, really. It is the combination of close-order + rear that’s bad. The StuG should have trailed in *extended* order, so it can provide overwatch that would have ended the match very quickly (P40 pops up in front of Miho, StuG shoots P40 from behind bend, win).

    >Pretend to take the bait and set up an ambush trap of your own using the StuG III and perhaps even Panzer IV.

    I am also suprised at how unused the StuG’s long range shooting ability is, even counting the probable failure of the instruction yesterday. Maybe when Miho quietly threw away the long range sniping plan, her tactical concepts went away from ambushes altogether.

    Still, if you use the Panzer IV and StuG III, they’d be out of sight and you won’t be convincing any observers that you’ve actually taken the bait.

    >have is Miho’s decision to use the flag tank alone as bait for an ambush.

    I agree it is dangerous. I suspect, however, Miho didn’t actually expect Rabbit Team to perform so well, managing to eliminate both Semoventes (besides, Carpaccio might still win at that time). So she was in a hurry to finish before the Semoventes arrived and decided to entice Anchovy with the biggest bait she can think of.

    As for the risk, you have to remember that Miho hails from a Low-Accuracy World, and it affects all her tactical decisions*. She probably decided that while Anchovy might be a better gunner than usual, a *short* exposure, with all those woods and the agility of the 38(t) is acceptable risk.

    *You see this also in Ep5, when she decides to charge the Shermans. This can only work in Low-Accuracy World.

    >break off momentarily then take out the P40 from behind

    As I said, they already started off behind, but even engaging a P40 from behind is actually disadvantageous to a Ausf D, so she decided to go for the surprise factor instead.

    If we ignore the problem of the vulnerability of 38(t), at the time Miho popped up, the win is in her hands. Anchovy has clearly decided to engage her first rather than taking another potshot at the 38(t) which might even be out of sight (remember that Anchovy is, at that moment, peering at the world through a gunsight with limited FOV). Anchovy can club her and in the next instant she’d be taken out by Rabbit Team who has just sniped away a Semovente just meters away.

    Come of think of it, ain’t Azusa nice – looking at the position, she could have chosen the P40 as her target, but she chooses to give Miho the big slice. Remember, leave the biggest piece of meat to your boss 🙂

    >It’s much easier to hide/presents a smaller target than the 10 ft. tall M3, can snipe long range, and has better mobility if it needs to escape.

    Materially, you are right. However, as we’ve actually seen, it is the M3 that can actually snipe. Further, there’s the commander, who’s cautious, while the StuG’s commander goes to play kendo with a Semovente (the viewers are thrilled but it is also dumb). The flag tank’s commander also needs a certain personality, which is probably one reason why Anchovy kept the flag to herself.

    I’ll take a few more swipes at Miho, though. Miho’s biggest questionable tactic is arguably her sweep. While Rabbit Team might (and did) take care of themselves against any likely enemies, Miho was *lucky* for Duck Team. Anchovy chose to concentrate her Semoventes into a pair (actually Anchovy did not *quite* do as Miho imagined it – instead of two pincers moving aggressively, the northern pincer was moving through a large maneuver while the southern pincer was probably going to wait till Oarai passed the “+” in the crossroad and then sweep north). If there was even one Semovente in that northern group, Duck, who cannot control its engagement, would have been killed in the crossfire and a pincer would have been left completely free to maneuver.

    • @Kazuaki Shimazaki: Glad you enjoyed the article, and appreciate you taking the time to comment. I’ll give Bear a chance to address questions/concerns you have about his portion and just focus on your thoughts about mine.

      The reverse is also true. If those ambushing TDs are spotted, it would not be very hard to tell that they are the real ones and then they will be killed. It is possible the Anchovy decided the concealment of the area is inadequate unless the enemy is really distracted.

      The reverse is also true for any ambush so I don’t see that as a factor. All depends upon how well you set up the ambush. To clarify, I was not suggesting that the Semovente be among the decoys. That would defeat the purpose. The ambushing Semovente is somewhere nearby with a clear firing lane towards Oarai’s most likely approach. Maybe it gets discovered, but again, that’s the risk you take with any ambush. I don’t think it would since Oaraii’s attention should be on the decoys. As for a CV33, I suggested maybe place a one among the decoys. If it gets taken out – don’t care. I’ll happily trade one CV33 for one of Oarai’s tanks/TDs. Lastly, if a real tank/TD is so readily distinguishable from the decoys, well, then they are not very good decoys and I have to wonder why Oarai was so easily fooled initially.

      — Regarding recalling one Semovente ASAP once Anchovy’s trap has been discovered

      Waiting until, rather IF, Anzio withdraws is too late. The problem as I see it is that you have Panzer IV + 38(t) flag tank vs. P40 flag tank + CV33. Well, that CV33 is only good as a possible onetime disposable shield in this situation and not a very good shield given its size. As a general principle, the CV33 IMO is NOT a viable “guard” for the P40. Have it scout to make sure other Oarai tanks are not nearby or go harass the M3 Lee or something if “only” one Semovente isn’t enough to occupy the M3 Lee (which it is IMO). In short, I don’t factor it into the equation here. So it’s P40 with two targets – the 38(t) flag tank and Panzer IV which raises the problem we saw. Go after the flag tank and risk getting shot by an unoccupied Panzer IV, or engage the Panzer IV and (in theory) the 38(t) escapes. Anzio needs another offensively viable tank here to engage and distract the Panzer IV so you get the advantageous 38(t) vs. P40 match up.

      With only one Semovente, the suppressive force is worse than halved. At this point, Rabbit Team may well choose to take a chance and try to put the 75mm on them. By then, they know Rabbit Team is one of the rare tank crews in Japanese High School Senshado that can shoot (Aya hit one on her first attempt without even stopping), so they’ll be on the lesser half of a crap shoot.

      JMO, but at this point in the story, I’m not so sure that the Rabbit Team will automatically turn into killer rabbits (BTW, I love their mascot) simply because they face one, rather than two Semoventes. They may fight, or they still may run. Even if they do fight, then fine. I don’t agree that one Semovente = “less than half” compared to two Semovente’s just because it’s up against the Rabbit Team in the M3 Lee. Same goes for the idea that the M3 Lee emerging victorious in such a match up is a foregone conclusion. Clearly, it is a greater risk with only one Semovente rather than two engaging the M3 Lee. However, it’s a risk I’m willing to take. Barring story scripting, it’s certainly possible IMO that a lone Semovente can eliminated the M3 Lee as well as vice-versa, or that the M3 Lee fails to engage for some period of time.

      Aya hit one stationary Semovente by surprise at fairly close range (looks like less than 500m to me) while the M3 Lee was moving slowly. They also hit that one Semovente later, but they missed a lot too (all teams missed a lot). The Rabbit Team can shoot well at times and not so well at others – particularly when under fire themselves. I think we will have to agree to disagree here. We simply rate the Rabbit Team’s gunnery differently. So I don’t think they will automatically defeat a lone Semovente (let alone on the very first shot). I have two goals here: (1) Free up an offensively viable tank to occupy the Panzer IV so that ALL of Oarai’s offensively viable tanks are engaged/occupied. (2) Give additional time for the P40 to take out the 38(t) without the risk of being sniped itself. IMO, give the P40 just a bit more time and the 38(t) will be eliminated = Anzio victory.

      The StuG is in the back. Which is actually not bad, really. It is the combination of close-order + rear that’s bad. The StuG should have trailed in *extended* order, so it can provide overwatch that would have ended the match very quickly (P40 pops up in front of Miho, StuG shoots P40 from behind bend, win).

      Oops. Your right. I got the order reversed for some reason. With that fixed, my opinion matches Bear’s = bad formation. StuG III should be in front followed by the 38(t) followed by the Panzer IV. I can see where you’re going with the StuG III trailing idea, but I have two issues with that. One, you just created a firing lane to the 38(t) rear which is what you’re trying to cover. Two, you isolated the StuG III making it more vulnerable, especially from behind since it lacks a turret.

      Still, if you use the Panzer IV and StuG III, they’d be out of sight and you won’t be convincing any observers that you’ve actually taken the bait.

      Agree. I had the very same thought myself which is why I qualified the Panzer IV sniping as well (“… and perhaps even[emphasis added] the Panzer IV.”) Upon further reflection, probably best just to hide the StuG III only.

      As for the risk, you have to remember that Miho hails from a Low-Accuracy World, and it affects all her tactical decisions*. She probably decided that while Anchovy might be a better gunner than usual, a *short* exposure, with all those woods and the agility of the 38(t) is acceptable risk. *You see this also in Ep5, when she decides to charge the Shermans. This can only work in Low-Accuracy World.

      True, and that’s part of what I mean by “scripted”, but you have to make some assumptions in terms of accuracy since “Low-Accuracy World” or not, there are some pretty good shots made here and there. Furthermore, part of the exercise entails removing some of the more egregious scripted events. Otherwise, the exercise would be pointless. In any case, I don’t see leaving the 38(t) alone to dodge shells for an extended period of time as an acceptable risk.

      As I said, they already started off behind, but even engaging a P40 from behind is actually disadvantageous to a Ausf D, so she decided to go for the surprise factor instead.

      O.o How is it any disadvantageous to engage any tank (let alone TD) from the rear – where armor is thinner than the front while conversely exposing your more heavily armored front rather than thinner armored rear? Sorry, but that makes no sense to me. Rear (and side) shots are best. Period. The P40 turret might be 50mm but so is the front armor which the Panzer IV did pierce from the cliff, so I have to go with what the show gives me which = Panzer IV can pierce 50mm of armor (or I guess the P40’s armor is subpar or something). Plus, the turret is not “half the tank” targeting area either. Furthermore, the P40’s rear armor is 40mm which the Panzer IV Ausf. D can pierce which as noted above, is one reason why a rear shot is better.

      If we ignore the problem of the vulnerability of 38(t), at the time Miho popped up, the win is in her hands. Anchovy has clearly decided to engage her first rather than taking another potshot at the 38(t) which might even be out of sight (remember that Anchovy is, at that moment, peering at the world through a gunsight with limited FOV). Anchovy can club her and in the next instant she’d be taken out by Rabbit Team who has just sniped away a Semovente just meters away.

      The vulnerability of the 38(t) flag tank is a central issue so I don’t see how that can be ignored. Also, the Rabbit Team can miss just like any other team so I don’t think it’s 100%, absolutely guaranteed that they will take out the P40 the “next instant” with the situation “game over” simply because the Rabbit Team arrives if the Panzer IV is taken out. That being said, certainly the odds are that Anzio loses since it’s the P40 vs. four tanks, two of which are offensively viable (Panzer IV and M3 Lee). So while by that point the match is pretty much over, all the things Bear and I discussed work towards preventing that very situation. That’s the point of the whole exercise.

      Materially, you are right. However, as we’ve actually seen, it is the M3 that can actually snipe. Further, there’s the commander, who’s cautious, while the StuG’s commander goes to play kendo with a Semovente (the viewers are thrilled but it is also dumb). The flag tank’s commander also needs a certain personality, which is probably one reason why Anchovy kept the flag to herself.

      You do like the Rabbit Team. True, the M3 Lee can snipe to some extent, but hardware matters here and the StuG III is far superior in that role. As for the commanders, that’s a matter of viewpoint. TBH, I think your being unfair to Erwin. Let’s face it, the TD jousting was anime entertainment scripting. Erwin has done a good job before with ambushes. In the St. Gloriana’s match on her own initiative, she set up a smart ambush using the gaudy flags on the StuG III as camouflage to take out a Matilda II. Against Saunders, the Hippo Team does a perfectly fine job ambushing the M4 Sherman. In Ep 09, again, another good, patient ambush (following orders to the letter) to win the match. In all three situations, I’m quite sure that the 10’+ tall M3 Lee would be much more easily spotted by the opponent. I’m sticking with the StuG III and Hippo Team here.

      I’ll take a few more swipes at Miho, though. Miho’s biggest questionable tactic is arguably her sweep. … If there was even one Semovente in that northern group, Duck, who cannot control its engagement, would have been killed in the crossfire and a pincer would have been left completely free to maneuver.

      Have to disagree here. Scouting is one of three things the Type 89 can do. The other two are use as bait (if not the flag tank) and as a onetime disposable shield. So IMO, Miho definitely made the right call. I like the volleyball team (spiking smoke flares is awesome), but the Type 89 is useless. Not quite as useless as the tankettes, but almost. I also don’t think that it’s an automatic kill for a Semovente as they have to hit the Type 89 first. If they miss the much bigger M3 Lee, I don’t see why they wouldn’t do the same for the smaller Type 89. For either one, a shot hit from less than 500m should = white flag (1000m with HEAT rounds). Now the Rabbit Team can fight back and they may or may not win the duel as I previously stated.

      So even if Type 89 can’t fight back, it can occupy a Semovente which is fine with me. That’s one of four offensively viable Anzio tanks/TDs not targeting another Oarai tank/TD – all of which are superior to the Type 89 and/or Oarai’s flag tank. I’ll take that match up. Anzio would be foolish to waste a Semovente on Type 89 which can’t harm any of Anzio’s core group of four tanks/TDs. Heck, use the Type 89 as bait if you want to lead the Semovente into a trap. Hope I don’t sound mean, but if the Type 89 is taken out, so what? Doesn’t really change anything other than you have annoying tankettes buzzing around, but Oarai can safely ignore those.

      I agree that the Duck team got lucky in its match up, but once again, scripting comes into play because there’s no other matchup in which the Type 89 can do anything but block or runaway. Anime scripting to the rescue so that the Duck Team has a moment of offensive glory (well, to the extent taking out a tankette offers glory :P). If you don’t use the Type 89 to scout, what are you going to do with it? As one time disposable shield that may or may not work. Bait? Well, you can have it do both (scout while acting as bait). Miho used the Type 89 to scout in the Saunders match to good effect, and I enthusiastically endorse doing so again here.

      Gah, this turned out really long. Sorry about that. XD

      • @diakama

        Don’t worry about the long post … I suspect my reply is even longer!

        >Bear a chance to address questions/concerns you have about his portion and just focus on your thoughts about mine.

        I understand your sentiments, but I was trying not to be too repetitive between noting similar points in Bear’s section and yours. Especially since Bear went first this time, the answers specific to your section are by necessity complementary rather than complete.

        >All depends upon how well you set up the ambush.

        Yes, all ambushes have a chance of failing, but the probability varies depending on factors, and one of them is the specifics of the terrain, which simply may have not allowed the mix of good firing lanes and concealment that’s necessary for a high probability of ambush success. I mention this in Bear’s section.

        >real tank/TD is so readily distinguishable from the decoys

        The decoys themselves certainly look realistic enough. The problem is their placement. You *want* the decoys to be seen, not the real TDs, so you place them accordingly. For example, if you see a TD fully in place and a hull down TD that did not escape your notice … it is not hard to assess that the hull down TD is likely to be real and the fully visible one is likely to be fake. The better the hull down TD is hidden (but not quite good enough to escape you), the more likely it is real.

        Of course, you can try to exploit this psychology to play mind games (put the real TD in the open), but then you have to worry that your fake, hull down TD dummy escapes notice and the enemy just plants its first round into the real one in the open.

        >at this point in the story, I’m not so sure that the Rabbit Team will automatically turn into killer rabbits (BTW, I love their mascot) simply because they face one, rather than two Semoventes

        You are not looking at this problem from Anchovy’s perspective – remember that she may not even have known about what happened in the St G match, which is a local, unofficial match. And if she did, I think she would be wise not to put too much stock in it. While one can certainly say *at that point* they are somewhat *less* reliable, you have to remember that it was really bleak there. They were delivering no effective fires, their commander was demanding the impossible in a high, squeaky voice (What do you mean ‘target the tracks’? We aren’t even hitting the tank and neither is anyone else!); and they’d be hit any second. Do remember in a sense, they were even right! Their tank was killed about five seconds after they left it. One minute later, their commander acknowledges the hopelessness of the situation and orders a general retreat. They were not wimpy. They were just one minute faster in assessing the situation. 🙂

        Certainly, there’s little to complain about their aggressiveness this round. I’ll grant that the terrain is unfavorable for a smooth counterattack – too restricted for the M3’s poor maneuverability (but remember Anchovy and the Semovente commanders may not be au fait with the M3’s maneuvering properties!). But also do remember that Azusa already received her orders – if they start to turn away, they are trying to regroup and she is to stop it as best she can. Anchovy should be able to anticipate the orders and assume that the M3 will try to engage if it has any real chance.

        >Aya hit one stationary Semovente by surprise at fairly close range (looks like less than 500m to me) while the M3 Lee was moving slowly.

        It looked more like cruising speed to me, and yes, I’ll even say that the range like closer to *one* than *five* hundred. Nevertheless, in GuPworld that puts them well in the top quarter. Remember that Hana’s known score firing on the move is actually *zero* hits.

        >They also hit that one Semovente later, but they missed a lot too (all teams missed a lot).

        Look at the *dispersions* – from over a kilometer away, they are putting in rounds within a car width of the target … while closing the distance at a speed somewhat higher than what the Semoventes were making. Without even a one-axis stabilizer (the M3 *usually* has a stabilizer, but our “lucky” bunnies got a really early model without). Azusa needed only to stop the vehicle and instruct a very small correction and the evading Semovente was killed at about 1200 yards.

        And they hit the other Semovente as well. The only time they shot relatively poorly is when they are concentrating on evading the Semoventes’ fires.

        >So I don’t think they will automatically defeat a lone Semovente (let alone on the very first shot)

        I did not say they’d “automatically defeat”. Nevertheless, from Anchovy’s perspective, sufficient factors are there to make it look like well under a 50:50, so if she does this, realistic planning says she has to expect to lose the Semovente while not killing the M3. She might get lucky, but it is best not to count on it.

        I acknowledge the advantages of your course of action. Just that if Anchovy says she’d prefer to wait and see if 2 Semoventes can club the M3, thus eliminating the wild card (as you guys put it in your Primer), I’d say it is at the very least within a commander’s call and shouldn’t be termed a mistake.

        >One, you just created a firing lane to the 38(t) rear which is what you’re trying to cover. Two, you isolated the StuG III making it more vulnerable, especially from behind since it lacks a turret.

        The first part is inevitable since in close order or far, when you are supporting from the rear, part of your firing lane would be blocked by the leading vehicles. However by trailing, you reduce the amount of FOV the leading vehicles block out.

        For the second part, certainly the StuG is a bit more isolated. On the other hand, the front is supposed to be swept by Miho, so in theory the StuG is moving through the swept zone and is less likely to be suddenly attacked from behind.

        You can choose to, of course, put the Panzer IV in the trailing position – I was really thinking harder about the overwatch and extended order part than which vehicle is first. That would have the advantage of being able to engage the behind, but really if your sweep failed and you are ambushed from behind, you’d probably be killed before you can traverse the turret. From Miho’s perspective, she’d also have to consider she’s putting a less experienced commander up front and one with less effective all-round observation* (when buttoned up Miho has a cupola with circular observation while Erwin has to play with a periscope – and also Miho sticks her head out a lot more), so she’s increasing the chance they’d be successfully ambushed from the front quarter or they’ll miss something that can bite them in the rear.

        *These factors were not significant in the Saunders fight, where the situation is significantly more clear.

        >How is it any disadvantageous to engage any tank (let alone TD) from the rear

        I was being approximate when I said “half”, for which I apologize. Taking the 3D model of the P40’s butt from the GuP site, its total height is 271px (from track to top – cutting away insignificant areas like the periscopes on top). The turret runs from pixel 0-72 and hull from 73-220 (vertical axis). So it is about one third. However pixels 73-104 can hardly be ignored because it is the upper hull, which is probably only 20mm (rear top) but as you can see in side view of the 3D model very high sloped (over 80 degrees from vertical). Even with T/D overmatch that would make it a challenge for the weak Pz Gr Rot. So effectively Hana can only choose 104-220 = 115px, which is just a tad over half. Anchovy gets the whole tank.

        Nitpicking aside, the essence of the issue is that even shooting at the back of the P40 (with its turret facing aft), though less disadvantageous than shooting it from the front, is still accepting the lesser half of the battle, simply because the Ausf D’s armor is so thin its *front* armor is less than the P40’s rear armor (compared to the Ausf D, the P40 almost looks like a heavy!)

        Personally, I subscribe to the theory Hana killed the P40 with Gr 38 HEAT rather than relying on the technicalities of the angle (the Chinese EMD fansub group subscribes to this theory). However, while Gr 38 will allow selection of the whole tank profile, it is not accurate at longer ranges (there is a reason why HEAT rounds didn’t completely substitute the PzGr Rot, let alone heavy high velocity guns) so she’s still accepting the lesser half of the battle.

        You can see why Miho might want to choose an ambush even if it meant risking her flag tank.

        >The vulnerability of the 38(t) flag tank is a central issue so I don’t see how that can be ignored.

        I agree it cannot be completely dismissed, but since I’ve *just* discussed it so I think at that point it should be set aside for other considerations. Anyway, technically Rabbit Team can miss of course, but they were doing well today so I really don’t think it’ll happen especially since the targeting point is just a few meters away from their previous one and Anchovy is not exactly moving fast.

        >You do like the Rabbit Team.

        Yes I do. They are a really hard-working, hard-luck team that get poked at a little much by God (author). Here’s an uncommonly known fact – after they were tracked in the first battle … They Actually Decided to Repair the Track Themselves (it is in the first Gekkan Senshado, first page). Am I the only one to think that if I join Senshado without really strong motivations and on the first day I have to repair a track, you might not be seeing me the next day? They didn’t learn not to be quitters. They never were.

        Though the idea is to show them growing (there’s also a line to make them look less than MVPs, so Miho’s decision to save them in Ep11 looks more touching), I still feel a twinge at seeing their efforts go to waste or minor mistakes get blown to excessive proportions throughout the show. The latter wouldn’t be such a problem if other teams don’t make mistakes. Yet they do and yet more often than not they are not penalized and their mistakes are not really recognized as such.

        Take Sodoko and Mako in Ep9. How aware are you that Sodoko, Disciplinary Committee head that scowls at a little makeup, *assaulted* a fellow classmate (it’s a snowball, but assault is assault) during class (as she describes Senshado which is correct)? I won’t get into how her assault caused them to be nearly caught by the not awfully alert Pravdan tank crews, in a match where the fate of the school will decided if the do not win?

        Or take Hippo Team’s TD jousting here. By Watsonian standards as you implicitly seem to admit, that is just … wrong … a gross misuse. Yet it is set in a situation where people will excuse it as “scripting”!

        OK … stop ranting … back to topic. Erwin’s ambush of the Matilda was clever, but you also have to consider what happened next (you also have to consider it is much less excusable for Erwin with her history background to counternance that paint scheme in the first place). Further, that would be pretty much the last independent action Erwin would make.

        >Scouting is one of three things the Type 89 can do

        True … but Miho apparently set two tasks for Duck and Rabbit – to find the pincers and to engage them. In essence, it is no longer a scout mission but a security one.

        >I also don’t think that it’s an automatic kill for a Semovente as they have to hit the Type 89 first. If they miss the much bigger M3 Lee

        IMHO, they are missing the “much bigger (+less maneuverable) M3 Lee” because Azusa exercised control of her engagement. Though they are engaged defensively, she controlled the distance to ensure a low probability of hit while keeping two Semoventes occupied. As a Rabbit Team fan, I like this OVA. So many subtle good moments for them. 😀

        Now let’s look at Duck. They plunged in … and were almost immediately surrounded on *five sides*. Now, I don’t care they are CV33s, this is still poor control of the fight. Further, note how every tankette (from perhaps 10-20m distance) promptly began to put rounds on target without having to walk the rounds? Am I really a pessimist to be thinking that if one of the CVs was a Semovente, an AP round would be placed into Duck in short order?

        And just to pre-empt the idea that Duck would have acted differently if they saw a Semovente … TBH I doubt it. For one thing, their mission is the same. For another, at 25mm of rear armor, a Semovente is still just within the ability of a Type 89 to threaten. So they’ll attack and we can expect to see a similar scene to when they start attacking. Unfortunately, for one thing, they weren’t hitting, for another even if they do, from what we saw they were firing HE instead of APHE, so it’ll bounce (they had enough trouble killing CV33s). Pepperoni orders counter-attack, they maneuver more or less as seen … Duck Team gets hit by lots of bullets, and one AP shell. Miho immediately loses visibility of her northern flank including a Rogue Semovente.

        Later, perhaps taking a page from Anzio, Duck Team would show some great evasive skills, but that’s not this OVA. This OVA, they got hit by lots of bullets and spent most of it driving in relatively straight lines.

        Admittedly, it isn’t like Miho has a million candidates for her nothern flank. But since Duck Team simply has insufficient Combat Stability, she should rush her tank group North, say to where she originally planned Hippo Team to do long-range sniping (before the failure of the lesson). She might not be able to snipe but it should still be a place that provides good observation. Check out the composition of the northern pincer. If they are all CVs, then let Duck Team have them. If not, the main group engages the northern pincer first with Duck Team – this is also compatible with your doubt about support between the scouting and main groups.

        That leaves the problem of the main group, but based on Miho’s conception, that won’t be moving for some time while the pincers reach the correct relative positions, so there’s a bit of time. You can choose to keep an eye on it by sending Yukari as a foot scout out to the crossroads. No matter how Anchovy maneuvers her main force, without a special reason, she’d use the road because it is faster, so Yukari will be able to warn you of any real movement. Not absolutely riskless I admit but compared to the risk losing visibility of an active northern pincer that’s stronger than a all CV composition…

        • @Kazuaki Shimazaki: LOL, yeah, I think your reply is longer than mine. Lots to consider!

          Yes, all ambushes have a chance of failing, but the probability varies depending on factors, and one of them is the specifics of the terrain, which simply may have not allowed the mix of good firing lanes and concealment that’s necessary for a high probability of ambush success.

          True, still terrain can cut both ways – limited firing lanes, but also more cover/concealment. Surely there were tanks/TDs in WWII that successfully ambushed other tanks/TDs in similar terrain. I honestly don’t see this as a “high risk” ambush.

          The problem is their placement. You *want* the decoys to be seen, not the real TDs, so you place them accordingly…

          Hmm… I guess I wasn’t clear. The Semovente is NOT among the decoys. It might (key) even be placed on the same side as Oarai’s scouting approach. It’s hard to say precisely where since I really don’t have a complete view of the terrain, but as noted above, from what I did see, I think there are at least a couple places you could set up a successful ambush without the Semovente being among the decoys.

          As for the decoys, clearly they weren’t realistic enough since they failed to fool Oarai for long – specifically no engine noise or movement. Those two items tipped off Miho and why my thought is to place a CV33 (again NOT Semovente) among or close to the decoys in order to address those shortcomings (engine noise and can move a bit). Frankly, depending upon the position, the Semovente may have already ambushed and taken out Oarai’s scout before they get a chance to inspect the decoys in any detail. Even if the CV33 is taken out, so what? Not a problem since Anzio has six of them alone. Well worth the trade IMO if it nets me the M3.

          True … but Miho apparently set two tasks for Duck and Rabbit – to find the pincers and to engage them. In essence, it is no longer a scout mission but a security one.

          Pincer movement? What pincer movement? Not from what I saw. They were scouts and only scouts. Oarai’s tanks only fired at that time because Miho suspected a ruse when she learned the decoys were silent and unmoving.

          You are not looking at this problem from Anchovy’s perspective…

          The exercise is NOT to view it from entirely from Anchovy’s (or Miho’s) line of thinking because we’ve seen that already in the OVA. For example, consider the Pravda match. If you look at it from Katyusha’s perspective, allowing Oarai a 3 hour break to consider surrender so you can have a snack and take a nap is reasonable when in fact it was a huge mistake which cost Pravda the match. lowegear below makes a very fair point about how the characters high school girls and one should expect mistakes along the way, but again, that’s the essence of the exercise. What went mistakes we thought were made and what potentially better options were available. (BTW, I completely endorse Bear’s reply to lowegear).

          By Watsonian standards as you implicitly seem to admit, that is just … wrong … a gross misuse. Yet it is set in a situation where people will excuse it as “scripting”!Yet it is set in a situation where people will excuse it as “scripting”!

          Because it IS scripting. This is a fictional work and by definition ALL of it is scripted – some parts more noticeably so than others. I vividly remember on another site reading multiple comments about how people wanted a Miho vs. Maho “duel”. The show gave the fans what they wanted and they they loved it. I’ve seen multiple comments about how the CV33s are in the OVA so that the Duck Team could have a moment of offensive glory (and I agree with that). To me, having to hit a CV33’s so called “weak point” is clearly scripted because it’s (in theory) more entertaining than watching the Duck team shoot them down from the start. Can tanks really drift like like we saw in the anime? I have some serious doubts about that, but it makes for some good visual entertainment if you have sufficient suspension of disbelief. Still strikes me as noticeably scripted though.

          Again, I didn’t like the “TD jousting” in the OVA, but on the other hand, what are the options here for the Hippo Team besides engage the Semovente? Run away, unable to return fire and hope the Semovente has bad aim? Stop and present a stationary target. I’m NOT, repeat NOT suggesting they should crash into each other, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the Hippo Team to decide to fight it out with the Semovente one on one. Besides, it’s not entirely up to the Hippo Team either. After all, the Semovente still could smack into the StuG III if they wanted. The Hetzer did so against the Maus. Speaking of the Maus battle, I’d say the way Oarai defeated it was a very scripted scene.

          —RE: The Rabbit Team and Oarai’s teams in general

          Yes, you really like the Rabbit team, and that’s fine. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion the same as everyone else. Furthermore, I’ve read enough Girls und Panzer comments to know you’re definitely not the only one who likes the Rabbit Team. For the record, I like all of Oarai’s teams to various degrees (well, I’m pretty “meh” on the Anteater Team). So I like the Rabbit Team, but not nearly to the extent you do, or to be honest, to the exclusion of the other Oarai teams as you seem to do. I have to admit, I was a little surprised when you commented about Miho “demanding the impossible in a high, squeaky voice”, how Sodoko “*assaulted* a fellow classmate (it’s a snowball, but assault is assault)”, how the Rabbit Team’s “minor mistakes get blown to excessive proportions throughout the show” while the other Oarai teams “do and yet more often than not they are not penalized and their mistakes are not really recognized as such.”, how “there’s also a line to make them [the Rabbit Team] look less than MVPs, so Miho’s decision to save them in Ep11 looks more touching”, etc. etc.

          I’ll be frank, I don’t agree with what you proposed in the above examples. I certainly have a different take on the Rabbit team’s actions during the St. Gloriana’s match. We differ in opinion on this, and all I can say is agree to disagree. And that’s fine. I don’t expect everyone to always share my opinion. Clearly you are very knowledgeable when it comes to the series, and you definitely have made some good points. However, it seems to me that the majority our disagreement in terms of the tactical analysis under discussion revolves around our differing opinion about the various Oarai teams. For example, I think that one Semovente is sufficient to engage the Rabbit Team, but (if I understand you correctly) you think that two are necessary to do the job. A one on one engagement is central to one of my alternative tactical proposals so again, I don’t know what else to say but agree to disagree because clearly we won’t come to a resolution in terms of the Rabbit Team’s or the other Oarai team’s ability.

    • @I’m also glad you liked our article. I’ve gotten caught up on our manga tactical review so I can finally give you a reply.

      AFA the AT rifle is concerned. The 20mm Solothurn AT rifle weighs about 50kg and two 8mm Brenda’s weight about 40kg give or take so it shouldn’t affect the 33s performance. the Solothum is also a semi auto so it does have some fire power. Depending on the version you can get 35 to 40mm of penetration at 90deg so the Type 89 with only 17mm of armor would be SOL. Frankly, some of what’s written in the Gekkan Senshado seems to be trying to justify things after the fact. Cost? They could have sold one of their support vehicles and paid for the guns. Not to mention cutting back on their partying. One party ought to do it the way they eat. 🙂

      >Do note that two Semoventes were indeed trying to hide in the woods a bit further south, but Azusa spotted them first.

      The fact that they were practically track to track is really poor tactically if they were in ambush and even worse if they were in a tactical road march. If they had been separated they might have had a better chance of sniping the M3. I do think there was adequate cover to hide two low silhouette TDs given the type of terrain.: Pine and deciduous trees. Place them farther down the road on each end (cover them with branches if nothing else is available) and they would have had clear shots at the M3 and the 89 when they fired at the decoys. Even in the chase if one of them had done what Miho had told the History team: Stop and aim. they would have had a good chance of taking out the M3.

      Even iff the CV33s crews aren’t disciplined enough for a covert scouting mission, they should never have been bunched up. Let them lose and scatter them over the area to find and harass Oarai tanks. Sows confusion (example the scattered D-Day paratroopers) and gives Anchovy tactical situational awareness. “Reconnaissance by fire” was also used by WWII Cavalry units so you can let them blast away too.

      > Because Anchovy is already ahead (you can see this in the display on 29:17 and also from Anchovy’s comment

      True AFA the display goes, but then in the next scene (29:42) you see her passing the Panzer 38(t) so there is something of a discrepancy there.
      At that point the Panzer IV could have gotten behind the P40 and had a good shot at the lesser rear armor ( instead of continuing to try to do deflection shots) since Anchovy was intent on the flag tank. Though the P40’s turret was originally aimed backwards, once she started firing on the flag tank that wasn’t true anymore. I will give you the fact that the P40 had superior armor though they were fighting at pretty much point blank range at that point.

      I still think the StuG should have been in the lead. Without a turret it’s vulnerable to the rear. Especially, with the narrow road they were on. Not even useful to the front given that there view is probably blocked by the taller tanks.

      • @Bear
        I’ll take a look at it but I suspect I shall be a lot quieter on the manga, for the simple reason that I’ve never considered it to be canon due to its gross deviation from the anime. I am very happy the Anzio OVA finally ran over it for good.

        “That wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact Rabbit Team was killed, would it.”

        Of course it does! The only battle where they don’t get themselves shot out … and the manga author changes it… I can accept some deviation in fine details as a POV issue, but when you run against a source of higher status like this, you are asking for yourself to be de-canonized (I *refuse* to consider the matter of Rabbit Team getting knocked out a “fine detail”! Well, neither is Yukari becoming a TC). Well let’s move on.
        —-
        Ref the AT-rifle, I agree the provided explanation is weak. However, cost is not an issue (they already have the vehicles), and I don’t think it is trying to “justify things after the fact” because the best move there is to not say anything at all. I think from a Doylist perspective, all these “unused”, “non-operational” and “thinking of buying” vehicles are the Gekkan’s gift to FanFic writers, that can choose to “activate” some of these vehicles (interesting how they are adamant Saunders does not have any of these things, though) while having official blessing.

        From a Watsonian perspective, perhaps the explanation can be scavenged by suggesting that the mobility loss is not caused by the extra mass, but psychological / tactical. Remember that Anzio’s CV crews are basically Duck Team, but dumber. If they are given any chance to cause damage to an enemy, they’d take it. So perhaps what happened is that after the AT-rifles were installed (or they just bought ones with them pre-installed), their crews started to concentrate on killing tanks rather than harassing them. To kill tanks with an AT-rifle means you cannot be moving violently (very preferably not at all). Thus *in effect* they lost mobility and wound up being eliminated more easily.

        Another note is that there are *two* configurations of the AT-rifle CV. One has it placed where the MGs now are, but it is considered an “unsatisfactory solution since traverse was extremely limited (Ed: presumably compared to the MG’s traverse of +/-12 deg) and the handling of the gun inside the fighting compartment was made difficult by the restricted space (from Italian Light Tanks)”, and that would effect physical mobility when attacking as well, just like the StuG’s fixed traverse gun affects *its* mobility when it has to attack due to the restriction in usable attack vectors. The other is an external mount (sticking your head out seems to be considered self-responsibility in Senshado, so it is not necessarily out) that would affect mobility when in use (it would also mean the end of turning the vehicles over after they’ve been flipped – because the mount will inevitably be crushed…)

        >The fact that they were practically track to track is really poor tactically if they were in ambush and even worse if they were in a tactical road march.

        The excessive reliance on close orders and firing on the move is pandemic in Senshado. For the specific case, however:

        The best way to describe those two Semoventes, IMO, is not either ambush or road march, but “in an assembly area, standing by for the order for commitment”. You might note their initial orientation is such that on the call, they can clamber smoothly onto the road and run along it north, then get into an attack position. Under these circumstances, being close together makes it easier to control. Even if they are dispersed a bit, Azusa might have caught both of them in her field of view, and if they are too far apart, Rabbit Team would have seen, and possibly killed them one at a time.

        >I do think there was adequate cover to hide two low silhouette TDs given the type of terrain.

        Given the few close-ups we were given of the terrain, I doubt this. Look at 19:55. Some of the shrubbery is high enough to mostly conceal the CV … maybe, but it can only conceal about the Semovente’s hull. The trees are broad enough to break the outline, but not really conceal it. It might, might pass muster against a side glance but against a visual search with high powered binoculars (the tanks were enormous in the binocular views, no?) it won’t last a second…

        As for trying to use branches for one thing remember that the terrain is *slightly* favorable to Anzio, but not by much. So by running at full speed, the CVs can run to the crossroads and erect pre-fab dummies, but then time is running out and they have to leave if the real vehicles don’t want to be seen. Under the circumstances, there is insufficient time to do anything more on the camouflage front than to throw a pre-fab camo net (which they don’t have). If they try to gather branches and all, they’d be caught “red-handed”. Even if they *had* a camo net, the best it can do is become the tallest bush on the scene (as I said, the local shrubbery is half the required height).

        >Stop and aim. they would have had a good chance of taking out the M3.

        Well, certainly, by stopping, they’d increase their probability of hitting. But except for the pandemic overuse of fire on the move (which will be all the more so in a school like Anzio), save at the very beginning when they were on a relatively flat, wide stretch (which Azusa and Karina made the best out of with a ~2-second interval zigzag), Azusa soon started leading them down a bunch of curvy turns (such as 24:36) in restricted terrain with as little as 5 seconds between turns – as a comparison, Soviet norms for short-stop firing is to produce the shot within eight seconds of stopping (if you must know, it seems Germans don’t like fire-on-move or short stop at all, and prepare stopped firing with >20 seconds of preparation). With only one hasty firing opportunity, if they stop, they might still miss. If that happens, the M3 will take the next bend out of their sight and take the opportunity to turn around.

        So in addition to cultural tendencies (which are hard to resist), Azusa gave them as much reason as possible to prefer retaining their positional advantage. They took it.

        >True AFA the display goes, but then in the next scene (29:42) you see her passing the Panzer 38(t) so there is something of a discrepancy there.

        A twenty second time gap sounds short, but they crammed *two* scene transitions in between. IMO what happened was this. Before that scene, Miho gave her instructions to Turtle Team. We flip to the display approximating their present disposition. Turtle Team runs at full speed to get ahead of Anchovy, who is at a searching speed. *Some time later*, Anchovy realizes no one is chasing her, then she sees the 38(t).

        You might note that *even at this point* Anchovy doesn’t immediately leap and initiate firing preparations against the Pz 38(t). Only a minute of showtime later does she end scanning with her loader (you hear her voice) assisting the scan and finally commits. For most of that minute (whatever that really represented in actual time) the turret was probably pointed *aft*. Presumably, even *after* this, the loader was taking her spare moments scanning the aft with the periscope (you’d notice Anchovy took only known 2 shots at the Pz38, which leaves time for the loader to scan).

        Under such circumstances, trying to re-approach from the rear has a serious risk that they’d be counterdetected while they claw back in from detection range all the way back to attack range, which is restricted with all the trees in the way. If that happens, Anchovy will give up targeting the 38(t) and aim for the Ausf D.

        >I still think the StuG should have been in the lead.

        I’ll agree of the *close-order* formations so beloved in Senshado, the StuG leading is probably the best overall choice. Miho can still see *over* the Pz 38(t) and the StuG. However, IMO the best remains the extended order with StuG trailing for the reasons I’ve already mentioned.

  2. Hello.
    I acknowledge that you have pretty much dug into most options and alternatives one might propose, therefore I will not waste time to repeat something that’s been already been said.

    I just want to suggest that perhaps one aspect has been overlooked. As you pointed out, when Anchovy learned of the failure of the plan she moved out immediately, and ran into Ooarai’s main force.
    What happened next? It happened that, on Carpaccio’s initiative, sanctioned by Anchovy, the StuG III, by far Ooarai’s best vehicle and the best AFV on the field that day, was effectively tied down. This, IMHO, is not a minor factor; first of all, in the preparation Miho explicitly stated that the StuG could easily take care of the P40, having the firepower to knock it out to little risk on its own. The contrary is not true, because the P40’s gun would struggle against the StuG’s frontal armor, and would have to get close to get a shot, which in the situation would have been unwise at best and foolhardy at worst.
    However, this was avoided by Carpaccio’s intuition, as it was her TD who ran straight for the StuG and forced it into a close range battle, in which the StuG’s superiority over the Semovente was offset by the latter’s agility and small silhouette (using the Semovente’s gun barrel many shots that would have ended the duel went high); and of course, the StuG had no choice but to accept the challenge, because veering off to resume the chase would have meant exposing the sides or the rear to the Semovente, which would have ended the match for them.

    While this factor alone, as the events played out, did not change the outcome, to me it seems a rather smart move on Anzio’s part. With the StuG tied down, the task of bringing down the P40 had to be burdened by the Panzer IV, and we saw that, to achieve this, it was forced to reach the high ground to nullify its sloped armor advantage (and even with this, I believe its gun was barely enough, since its AP shell could pierce 43 mm of armor inclined at 30°, and the P40’s frontal armor is 50 mm thick, so it must have been pretty close). Other than that, only the M3 would have had the firepower to knock out the P40, because, other than the Type 89B, the Panzer 38(t) is absolutely not up to the task.
    Thus, even though in the end it only meant that Anzio went back home with at least the consolation for having knocked out the best vehicle of their opponent, I believe that this was a rather cunning move, not to mention that it enabled Carpaccio and Caesar to have their loader’s duel and reaffirm their friendship.
    What do you think? Is it just wishful thinking, or did I make a point?

    • Who’s “you”? Ah, who cares. Personally, I welcome you joining us. 🙂

      On topic, the P40 is not *that* disadvantaged vs the StuG. It is true that the StuG’s high velocity cannon can penetrate further. However, in terms of the distances they are engaging today, it is not decisively important. The L/34 is credited with 90mm of penetration at 100m, which *is* enough to kill the StuG. Some blame has to accrue to Anchovy for not making the immediate decision to try to turn the turret around and plant a quick round into StuG which is trying to swivel using clutch and brake steering.

      That aside, no one is going to say that Carpaccio made a mistake by engaging Hippo Team. The problem is the method. Her gunner must have been a good kendo practitioner, making that barrel go in kendo-style circular parrying patterns despite having to use separate elevation and traverse wheels. Nevertheless, she’s still accepting battle at adverse odds because as she says, she’ll have to hit the little mantlet, while the StuG can penetrate anywhere.

      A preferable method would have been to, at least after guaranteeing the P40’s separation, to turn it into a game of tactics. Her main advantage here is that she has years of experience over Caesar and Erwin. Using that, she should have tried to disappear and work her way tactically into Hippo’s flank, or to lure them to try and support Anglerfish (if they do, she can have back shots very easily). Another idea is to go for virtual attrition – leave them afraid to turn away to disengage, and that would neutralize Hippo as effectively.

      Still, if Carpaccio can at least say by getting close she can parry awway Hippo team’s gun, my ire is mostly saved for Hippo Team, who is all too enthusiastic for this kind of combat. There is simply no advantage for them in accepting an ultra close range battle where their gun barrel can be parried away. Yet you don’t see them even trying to reduce the closure rate even when they are head to head – by stopping, they can buy time for a point-blank shot without quite getting into collision distance. One has to wonder who *really* instigated the close range fight, Hippo Team or Carpaccio.

    • @Italianguy88: In terms of tying up the StuG III, I think you make a valid point. As I’ve noted before, I see the match as really 4 on 4 plus “miscellaneous”. No disrespect to the Duck Team or Pepperoni, but they are driving a Type 89 and CV33 respectively. For me it’s like they have their own little match. So assuming you agree with my take on the above, that leaves 3x Semovente 75/18 + one P40 vs. Panzer IV Asuf. D, StuG III, M3 Lee and Panzer 38(t). A one on one situation for those tanks based on the hardware alone (key) = Anzio advantage IMO. In fact, that was one of my suggested alternatives. Have one Semovente occupy the M3 Lee, StuG III and Panzer IV leaving the P40 more time to go one on one with the Panzer 38(t). The P40 should definitely win that match up (if they don’t… not sure what to tell you. LOL).

      The contrary is not true, because the P40’s gun would struggle against the StuG’s frontal armor, and would have to get close to get a shot, which in the situation would have been unwise at best and foolhardy at worst.

      To be honest, I’m not so sure about that. I think you’re selling the P40 a bit short here. The StuG III Asuf F armor stats are listed as 50mm or 50mm+30mm for the front. That extra 30mm of bolted on armor (which may not have been done for Oarai’s StuG) doesn’t cover the entire front of the tank. So there are spots in the front which are 50mm thick. Same goes for the StuG III mantlet (50mm). A well-placed shot by the P40 may take out the StuG III from the front beyond “point-blank” range (say 100m or less). The P40 can easily take out the StuG III from the side or rear, and having an actual turret is a pretty big advantage in my book. Of course if the P40 uses HEAT rounds then there’s no issue.

      Back to your main point, I agree with you that Carpaccio engaging and tying up the StuG III one on one was a good move on her part. Like I said, the P40 vs. 38(t) is the match up Anzio wants. The problem IMO was that they left the Panzer IV alone rather than tied up with one of the two Semovente’s attacking the M3 Lee. And yeah, the Panzer IV taking out the P40 from the front (assuming “standard” AP rounds) was cutting it a bit close, but reasonable enough given the short range. You do get some extra penetration at 100m or less vs. 500m for that type of round. Hope this answers your question.

      • Thanks for your reply.

        When I mentioned the inferiority of the P40, I also considered the fact that it’s an ideal vehicle for ambushes, being therefore more than capable of laying up an ambush under cover, and take out the P40 at a distance before the StuG itself is spotted. That’s Hippo Team big advantage, in my opinion (the advantage that gave them the killing shot in the Pravda match), and I believe this should not be underestimated, even though the terrain is not quite favorable to ambushes, and neither was the high-speed nature of the match.
        Even Miho pointed it out in the training session, that the P40 was vulnerable to the StuG at long ranges; not only thanks to its bigger silhouette, but also because the P40’s gun is shorter than the StuG, and therefore is not only less performant, but also possibly less precise (besides, I do not have many details, but I know for sure that optical devices on the M13 and M14 tanks were mediocre, and I doubt that on the P40 they improved this much).
        Therefore, it would be difficult for Anchovy (because she has to double as the gunner, as the P40 was still plagued with the two-man turret layout so much criticized) to get a shot at the weaker parts of the StuG; besides, Hippo Team doesn’t have to do the same, their gun at combat ranges can comfortably pierce the frontal armor of the P40. It’s obvious that on the sides and the rear the StuG is vulnerable, but Anchovy would have had to be quite lucky to get herself in such a position.

        This about the technical details.
        On the tactical analysis, I agree that Anchovy should have tried to distract and tie down the other enemies, to concentrate on the Panzer 38(t), and that this would have increased her chances to win.
        This kind of reminds me the actions of Katyusha in the final part of Pravda’s match against Ooarai; in which she led almost all of her surviving tanks to chase the enemy, even though she wanted Nonna to snipe out the enemys’ flag tank; this gave Miho the opening for her own flag tank. Perhaps, had she ordered some tanks back to town to support the flag, she might have pulled it off, instead of leaving it to the sole protection of the KV-2, which proved insufficient.

        Anyway, thank you. You did answer to my question.

        • @Italianguy88:

          Perhaps I didn’t understand your point entirely/correctly. I thought you were suggesting at that particular moment when the two forces ran into each other (figuratively, not literally >_>) rather than in terms of the one on one match up in general. In other words, my reply had to do with simply replacing Carpaccio’s Semovente with the P40 in the same situation. So while I agree with what you wrote about the StuG III and its long range sniping/ambushing ability (something I pointed out in my review comment above above), had the P40 broken off to engage the StuG III rather than Carpaccio in the Semovente at that movement, then the StuG III won’t have those advantages unless it can elude the P40 (run away out of sight), and then later try to set up some sort of ambush/sniping opportunity. Now the Hippo Team could have tried to do that (as I also mentioned elsewhere), but since it’s discovered and at close range, there are risks associated with breaking off engagement as we saw when the two Semovente’s broke off from the M3 Lee. Maybe the P40 misses the StuG III as it runs away, maybe it hits from the rear and takes them out.

          I agree with what you wrote in your reply, including some very pertinent technical details (thanks again for the additional Italian tank info), but as noted, it seems to me we were talking about two different things here – a one on one match up in general vs. one in a set, specific situation. At least if I understand you correctly this time. Hopefully so. 😀 Oh, just to be clear, I want to reiterate that I would NOT have the P40 take on the StuG III if I could help it. P40 vs. Panzer 38(t) is the match up Anzio wants IMO barring another tactic like ambushing Oarai (and I don’t mean lengthy, complicated encirclements either).

          As for the Pravda comparison, I think that’s a good one. In that case, Katyusha had a wealth of firepower at her disposal compared to Oarai and she squandered it. She can easily afford to leave a two or three T34’s back with the flag tank along with the KV-2, or send them back immediately once Nonna mentions that both the Panzer IV and StuG III have disappeared. Those are Oarais best two tanks IMO in the Pravda match, and the KV-2 alone is insufficient protection. Yet again, another Senshado commander’s overconfidence is her undoing though let’s be honest here, a three hour snack & nap break was Katyusha’s biggest mistake.

          You might want to check out our manga version of the Anzio match tactical review as well. The match plays out quite differently than in the OVA.

          “OT”: Are you interested/watch any other WWII/military related anime (loosely defined) such as Strike Witches or perhaps even the upcoming Kancolle Anime (can be more serious ones as well BTW). Thanks.

  3. Love the tactical analysis of the Anzio battle here, which does hold a bit more depth than what viewers may initially see. It should be kept in mind though that at the end of the day, the combatants are schoolgirls first and foremost, and treat Senshado as a sport first (with the exception of Kuromomine). Thus while military tank tactics can be employed at times due to the very nature of armored combat, the type of tactics and decisions employed in Senshado matches are affected by the fact that schoolgirls are the ones making the tactical decisions, so a few missteps in tactical thinking here and there is actually expected.

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. We appreciate the complement too! I hope you’ll read our next post on the manga version of the battle. I think you make a very good point that we don’t acknowledge that these are just teenage schoolgirls. Our reviews are based on what we think would be valid tactics in a combat situation (or at least the Senshado equivalent) and we should probably have stated those parameters up front. The closest thing to a gun these girls may have aimed before taking up Senshado was probably a bb gun at a festival shooting gallery and they certainly never drove anything heavier than a bicycle or scooter. Let’s just say that instead of these posts being critical of them, we’re just trying to point out where we think they can improve. 🙂

  4. @daikama August 6, 2014 at 8:51 pm
    Thanks for your reply. Let’s start at the bottom. First, let me reassure you that while it’d be both useless and false to say the Rabbits are not my favorite team (certainly among the support teams), it doesn’t mean I dislike the others (though like you, I’m “meh” on Anteater – their existentialist value so far is essentially to make KMM’s poorly laid ambush look less than completely useless. Maybe the movie would change them, we’d see).

    I must also question your logic that I dislike them because I criticize them. Trust me that though I used the word “assault” to describe Sodoko’s actions, if assault is assault a snowball is also a snowball, and mostly I felt the amusement most people feel when Ms. By-the-Book proves not quite so after all. I don’t hate or despite Sodoko for it (though if Sodoko can be more contrite about all this I’d like her more).

    As for the tactical mistakes all of them make (yes I am aware Rabbit Team does make some mistakes!), despite my “ire”, I do try to remember they have so little time in tanks that many armies will say they should still be in the theory course. Of course, when they actually do something well, I hand out praise, which you are seeing here.

    I am a bit harder on Miho, because though she’s young, she has years of experience including at least one tour as vice-captain and quite likely more. Even then, I don’t think pointing out her errors means I hate her.

    I suspected that my takes will surprise you, and that’s likely because it is the first time you’ve seen them, though allow me to infer from your lack of counter that you admit that based on the scene actually shown, my take is, if debatable, at least valid rather than an error of fact*. However, the story is “scripted” (to use your terminology) such that most viewers don’t really notice these things, and that’s why these takes feel new.

    *Talking about errors of fact, I’d be remiss to not acknowledge that I did make a mistake – Hana did achieve one hit in Ep12 on Maho’s Tiger on the move, knocking out a piece of side skirt. Sorry Hana.

    But I must wonder, whether it is me that’s being hard on the other teams, or you that’s hard on the Rabbits. That, IMHO, is a problem (or at least my difference) with most Rabbit likers. Many people like Rabbit Team. But it is mostly because they are cute, or they are improving. At best they work hard. As far as capability goes, they are at least at the bottom of the “Initial Five”.

    This opinion is not invalid (I’ll upgrade it to “quite defensible” even, at least before this OVA), but at least should be more open to new evidence. For example, last round, your argument is that Duck can dodge the fires of a lone Semovente simply because Rabbit Team dodged two. (Anything Rabbit Team can do in terms of dodging, Duck can do better … despite us seeing Duck being pelted like heck by bullets.) And even though we just saw Rabbit skewering a Semovente, you essentially assume they’d have problems with the P40 right next to it.

    Talking about the P40, let’s loop to the top & talk about another thing that you are quite hard towards …

    Anchovy:
    Quite frankly, the critique about the employment concept is getting a bit beyond what’s usual. Generally with these reviews, to some extent we accept we can’t see the whole battlefield, so as long as the move is defensible (even out of several options) given what is known and what the character can reasonably know, the character is given a pass. It is one thing if you saw a big, obvious ambush zone that Anchovy is not using, but by your admission that apparently isn’t the case, and are just proposing areas.

    Even if you did happen to spot some small, usable area that can only be found with a reconnaissance on site, it still isn’t a strong poke at Anchovy if most of the terrain is unsuitable. Remember, Anchovy drew her battle plan on a map. She can’t plan it on the off-chance that on-site recce would find a rare ambush site in a low probability area.

    By the way, one reason why you do not want to deploy ambushes on Oarai’s side of the road is because in general Oarai’s side (east) is lower than Anzio’s side (West). Anything deployed East would likely be at a slope and cannot range the road well.
    —-
    Decoys:
    Overall not intermixing an engine is correct. You will notice not even Duck Team showed any sign of analyzing the lack of engine noise and movement as a sign they are fakes. Neither did Miho (it is not even clear Duck reported this finding to Miho – their speech was conversational, not reporting). The indicator was when the numbers did not match, as explicitly shown in the show.

    It is true that a decoy of reasonable cost cannot emulate engine noises. It is however, also true that in their deployment, not using engines is a perfectly reasonable choice. Thus, should you intermix a single CV33 as a noisemaker, you’d have to pray the enemy can’t tell it is one engine, and should you move it … a single mover in a situation where there should be none?

    IMO you are better off claiming that your plan will cause the enemy to quickly conclude what is in front of them are decoys (except for your mover) and hopefully they’d make a hasty attack without searching around for ambushers. It is still a hope plan, not very solid, but it would still be better than hoping your single engine will confuse them.
    —-
    Security:
    And when the decoys are destroyed and Miho deduced (about 75% correctly) the enemy’s plan, she changed Duck and Rabbit’s missions to Security. That’s why the sentence says “no longer” and not “not”.
    —–
    Perspective:
    I think we define Perspective differently. I don’t see it as Line of Thought, otherwise there will be many people I can’t criticize. However, without necessarily using their line of thought, it is IMHO important to acknowledge that while the characters have some info we don’t, overall we are in a very privileged position in terms of knowledge. It is unfair to not consider the difference b/w what we can see and what Anchovy can realistically see.

    IMO, this means it is unlikely Anchovy even knows about StG, so matter how you interpret that one, it is unfair to expect her to incorporate that knowledge. If she knows anything about “Oarai’s M3” other than the fact they pelted her Semovente without even stopping or registering, she might have been watching Saunders v Oarai. She will see 6 Saunders tanks, including the command tank, come in on two directions and still fail to clip the M3.

    What part of the probable knowledge in Anchovy’s data bank is going to make her conclude that only one Semovente is going to “get” the M3? It is going to succeed where 6 Shermans failed? At the very best, it looks like the pursuit will drag on forever until she voluntarily withdraws the Semovente. The results after that I’ve already done. Really. You in Anchovy’s shoes won’t use TWO Semoventes?
    —-
    Alternatives to TD Jousting:
    Hippo Team’s decision to Engage is correct. Their mistake is the method. In some ways, Carpaccio makes it easy. All they have to do is deny the Semovente’s entry into the very closest range. To do that, all they have to do is stop. That would reduce the closure and buy them a precious couple of seconds to shoot without getting into “kendo” range. Carpaccio, being on the move, will still find it difficult to hit that tiny mantlet even at close range. As Caesar says “Just hit.”
    —-
    Scripting:
    Yes, scripting exists. However, all scripting has Watsonian consequences because they affect the anime world. Any drift they enter under Rule of Cool beomes usable. And if they want Duck Team to be forced to aim at weak points, then Duck Team loaded the wrong shells into their tank. And the Maus commander was dumb.

  5. I just wanted to let you know that I have verified, and have come to the conclusion that the rounds Carpaccio is using are, indeed, normal Armour-Piercing ones. I have found in a book a table in which the various rounds used by the 75/18 howitzer were detailed, and by confronting the OVA’s image I had no more doubts left.

    Here’s an image of the various shells. On top is of course the round Carpaccio is loading; on the bottom left is the Armour-Piercing (in Italian, “perforante”) round, while on the bottom right are the two hollow charge rounds usually employed, the early “E.P.” (with the fuse on the bottom of the shell, which made it detonate after a small delay) and the later “E.P.S.” (with the fuse on the top).

    • Uh, really. It is quite hard to tell – since overall they are more or less the same “ogival” shape. In fact, I can argue with at least equal strength that it was EPS. We never got to see the very tip of the round,, and you will notice that according to your diagrams the AP projectile’s starts off as a cylinder and then tapers off to the tip, while the EP has a mild bulge. If you look very carefully at the screen image, there is a *very* mild bulge.

      • To be honest, I think that the three rims on the lower part of the shell itself and the really mild bulge are more consistent with the AP round… even though I agree it’s quite difficult to see.

        Here is another image I found; ignore the top right image (it’s an E.P. round for the old 75/13 gun), the left top is a standard E.P:, while the two bottom are two models of the E.P.S. (which should be the same thing as the H.L. German rounds).

    • @Italianguy88: Thanks for the info. Given the level of detail in the series, wouldn’t be surprised if attention to detail included shell/ammo designs as well. Since we don’t have a full view of the shell in the anime, can’t say for certain that it’s the AP shell (bottom left image under screen cap), but it does seem quite similar to that IMO.

  6. Sorry if I always return here, but detail comes like from an eye dropper.

    In a paperback about the tanks used in GuP, I found the data about the Anzio tanks. While I don’t understand the details in Japanese (and I would be grateful if someone could decipher it), I got that apparently the data about the gun performance is notable, as it doesn’t exactly correspond to what I thought. See for yourselves.

    • A problem with Italian tanks is that they aren’t nearly as popular as say German (especially) and Soviet / American tanks, and so there are very few big name writers writing about them, at least in the English world (and likely Japanese as well). It seems to be Pignato and Pignato alone – even if there are other writers they are probably basing things off him. So checks are few and the first thing that tends to get lost in these situations is “What is the angle” and as for “What are the other conditions (such as the test plate’s hardness)” is a lost cause.

      I’ve seen the 120mm shaped charge value and it is generally rationalized as “if the angle is zero”. That’s broadly the same as a German Gr38 H1/C (100 at 30 degrees).

      As for the 78mm, I’m pretty suspicious. For one thing, it is a L18, a low velocity gun and even if you say the Italians count calibers differently, there can only be a few more caliber-lengths added which does not help. More strikingly, the shell somehow loses over 30 millimeters of its penetration over 500m of distance, which is a lot more than the German shell shooting off a L/24 (4mm). An editorial error, either in whatever source they used or when they transcribed it would seem to be the most likely culprit.

  7. @Italianguy88: No worries and thanks for the information. Unfortunately, I can’t help with translation (wish I could). I agree that the gun penetration figures are notable. Surprising really. Granted I had limited resources, but the figures listed in the above images are significantly higher than what I found when researching for the GuP OVA Primer. I did a quick check on one site I used, and it has 70mm of armor penetration for the P40 48mm of armor penetration for the Semovente (AP rounds) at 500m. The P40’s 92mm of penetration at 500m in the above image is roughly the same as the M1 76mm cannon upgrade for the M4 Sherman (which was a big upgrade from the M3 75mm gun). I’m really curious where the GuP staff got those figures.

    • @Kazuaki Shimazaki and daikama

      That’s what I thought; these stats are decidedly better than the ones I myself read. Which makes both of these guns quite good, the Semovente just barelu not powerful enough to punch through the StuG’s frontal armor, and the P40 to do pretty much what it feels like doing. Perhaps some day they’ll explain where did they found them.

  8. Not sure where I should ask this, but I figured this would be the most relevant article to ask under. I rewatched the Pravda battle today, and was wondering about a couple things. 1) How realistic/unrealistic is it for the Panzer IV and the Stug III to evade the KV-2’s shot (episode 9, around 20:30)? 2) Why didn’t the KV-2 move after firing? I suppose arrogance/over confidence? 3) Given enough time, is it actually possible to camouflage a Stug III in snow well enough that an enemy would drive straight toward it? (episode 9, around 22:28) I suppose one should take into consideration that the crew of Pravda’s flag tank may have been panicked, and that it was snowing.

    • @flaze35:

      1) In that scene, the StuG II and Panzer IV didn’t really evade the KV-2’s shot. They took evasive action, but the KV-2 would have missed anyway. The KV-2 gunner had two targets, and split them down the middle. Bad shooting, but that was something which plagued Prada the entire match except for sharpshooter Nona. Now is it realistic for the KV-2 to make such a poor shot? Sure, it’s possible, though how likely/realistic at that close range is debatable. Gunners (including hunters) splitting targets does happen – usually with inexperienced (or just poor) shooters who get nervous in a target rich environment and panic. Lots of targets moving around and they can’t decide on which one to focus on. Then again, you only have two tanks moving directly at the KV-2 in a straight line until after the shot is fired. On the surface, it’s a bit… wonky, but plausible enough I think. KV-2 gunner isn’t good, got nervous during the match, etc. Oh, I really wish Miho would get in the @#$* tank and stay there. I cringed watching that scene with her exposed like that.

      2) That’s… a good question. It wasn’t as bad as say in KanColle Episode 12 where like 10 Abyssal DD patiently waited for Ooi & Kitakami to finish their yuri moment before destroying them. However, some suspension of disbelief/viewer rationalization is required – more so IMO than the other two items you listed. Only “logical” reason I can think of is a bad/inexperienced/overconfident Pravda crew. Perhaps they thought the KV-2’s armor was impervious to the StuG III’s and Panzer IV’s guns, but that would be quite the “noob” mistake since the KV-2 is definitely vulnerable to the StuG III and upgraded Panzer IV main guns. The KV-2 has decent armor for WWII (60-100mm), but not enough – especially at literally point blank range and… stationary. Not sure what else to say here. The KV-2 should have moved. As it was, it just stood there waiting for Oarai to take it out. :/

      3) Of the three, I think this is the most plausible apart from the StuG III nimbly spinning and burying itself in snow. With the assumption they did have enough time to camouflage the StuG III as presented, I have no problems with that scene. First, it’s night, snowing, and there’s only natural light (no headlights, spot lights, or even street lamps in the town area). Visibility is simply bad. I’m surprised the teams could see as well as they did. Nona must have incredible night vision. Second, keep in mind that a tank driver’s field of vision (especially WWII era tanks) is quite restricted. I’m often surprised how effectively well a tank driver can see given their limited view. Third, they were being chased by the Panzer IV with the match on the line – a stressful situation. Now add camouflage to the extent that what, 99% of the StuG III was covered in snow. When the StuG II fires, you don’t even see any part of it – not even the gun barrel. After the StuG II fires, you see part of it, but I took that as the snow being blown off by the muzzle blast (which is significant). That’s what it looked like to me. So, taking all of the above into account, I think it’s very plausible – perhaps even “as expected” for Pravda’s flag tank not to see the StuG III, The part which requires the most suspension of disbelief in my opinion is the StuG III so extensively camouflaged/completely covered in snow in such a short period of time.

      • One feels just a wheeny bit obliged to salvage the reputations of Alina, Nina and the rest of the KV-2 crew here.

        First, their lot. They are in a KV-2. It runs slow. It traverses slow with an heavy, out-of-balance turret that would prove too much for the weak electric drive if they are on the slightest inclination. The shells are two piece and almost as heavy as themselves, so they load slow. The shell even flies slow with a strongly curved trajectory. They are also a high target and it is not that easy to dig in.

        Their opponents … two Ausf Fs (actually, they are so “late-model” they might as well be Ausf G) fitted with high velocity guns with flat trajectory. They are more nimble and they load faster. They need to ensure at least two shot opportunities if they are to defeat them (and given the accuracy in Senshado, more but let’s start with two).

        Given all this, they had the right basic idea – hide among the houses, and when necessary pop up and take a head-on shot, entice the enemy into a stopped duel, hopefully tank any shots that are fired at it, and kill the enemy while they are stopped. The alternative of an ambush from the side will restrict firing range and likely produce only ONE shot opportunity before the remaining tank either gets out of the line of fire among the houses or moves to the flank from point blank range, counterfire, and destroy the KV. If you want TWO shot opportunities in a KV, either you start from a good distance or you get the enemy to stop, preferably both.

        This plan started to unravel because they were called into the action too late – you can see what engagement range they planned on by the flight of the shell – you may notice it is actually high and would have flown over the Oarai tanks even if it was right in line. But the target distance was much shorter by the time the T-34 cleared from the line of fire, and that not only means their preset elevation is wrong, but the targets are getting into point blank range which means they are much harder to aim at with the KV-2’s inadequate traversing mechanisms, and of course weak point aiming just gets easier by the second (soon, they’ll blow past and the weak points will grow into entire flanks.).

        Given the circumstances, they decided to stop trying to aim at moving targets and fire suppressive, and give them credit for it … IT WORKS. Miho does flinch and she does stop the tanks. The odds are still against them, but that started when a KV-2 has to stop two Ausf Fs. Moving is the wrong answer because the KV-2 has extremely poor maneuverability which is exacerberated in the Reverse – there won’t be need to pull lead on it. All it’ll do is create enough pitching and rolling to turn the task of petite girls manhandling 40kg+ shells and charges into an impossible one (we obviously are to assume they are strong enough, but there are still center-of-gravity and balance issues to consider when tiny girls lift huge shells).

        And though the distances are much closer than hoped for, given the average quality of Senshado gunnery (as of the latest movie trailer, it is obvious Senshado accuracy hasn’t gotten any better), it might still have worked. The turret is nice and high, and there is a great temptation to just target that, especially the mantlet. Ultimately, it didn’t work out, of course, but if you are in a KV-2, have to protect someone and are facing down two Ausf F, your success depends on the enemy making some suboptimal moves – if they always make optimal ones, your problem is virtually insoluble.

        As for the StuG, the most convincing one I’ve heard is from a Japanese commentator saying they were reusing the IS-2’s hole. Checking the scene, I think “Could be.” For the night vision part, everyone has wonderful night vision, with cones and rods fully functional in the dark. The only people who didn’t have good night vision was the Pravdan tanks that shot so poorly when Oarai was making its breakout (they were doing OK when they were popping barrels and tracks off Oarai’s tanks to neutralize them for the surrender). I always blame sticking to the fires too long for this fiasco 🙂

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