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British Armoured Battle Group

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I just bought the book ‘British Armoured Battle Group’ published by Concord in 2007 and highly recommend it as a resource for anyone interested in contemporary British armour, especially as it’s only £9.89: http://www.amazon.co.uk/British-Armoured-Battle-Group-Matzold/dp/9623611358/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362691830&sr=8-1

It includes tables of organisation and equipment for armoured (tank) and armoured infantry battalion-sized battle groups (BG). It includes plenty of high-quality colour photos of the Challenger 2, Warrior and CVR(T) families plus more.

Another very useful resource in the book is the British callsign template, which has diverged from that used by other Commonwealth countries, reproduced below:

11B – BG CO

22B – BG 2IC

0B – Squadron / Company OC

0C – Squadron / Company 2IC

10, 20, 30, 40 – Troop / Platoon commanders

11, 21, 31, 41 – Second vehicle in troop / platoon

12, 22, 32, 32 – Third vehicle in troop / platoon

As I’m about to begin development of a UK v AU H2H scenario I’ve been thinking about for a while, I’ve got a couple of questions for those here who know more about British organisation than I do:

1. Are the squadrons / companies in the BG identified by a letter suffix or prefix corresponding to their designation, such as “0B C” or “C 0B” or “10 A” or “A 10”? I’m struggling to understand how the squadrons / companies would be distinguished on the BG net without these or some other identifier.

2. Do infantry cross-attachments to an armoured (tank) BG still receive an “I (India)” prefix and tank attachments to an armoured infantry BG still receive a “T (Tango)” prefix? What about recce, is that still a “V (Victor)” prefix?

This information will help me tailor an accurate callsign template for the British unit.

I’ll probably have some more questions later on about the best way to adapt the Pizzaro to replicate the Warrior (by disabling Stabilisation and Ballistic Computer for example) and the best, or should I say least worst, proxy for the Scimitar (i.e. CV90/30-FI with no infantry?).

Thanks in advance for your help.

Cheers

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Another very useful resource in the book is the British callsign template, which has diverged from that used by other Commonwealth countries, reproduced below:

11B – BG CO

22B – BG 2IC

0B – Squadron / Company OC

0C – Squadron / Company 2IC

10, 20, 30, 40 – Troop / Platoon commanders

11, 21, 31, 41 – Second vehicle in troop / platoon

12, 22, 32, 32 – Third vehicle in troop / platoon

As I’m about to begin development of a UK v AU H2H scenario I’ve been thinking about for a while, I’ve got a couple of questions for those here who know more about British organisation than I do:

1. Are the squadrons / companies in the BG identified by a letter suffix or prefix corresponding to their designation, such as “0B C” or “C 0B” or “10 A” or “A 10”? I’m struggling to understand how the squadrons / companies would be distinguished on the BG net without these or some other identifier.

Well the first thing to remember is that usually there are two levels of nets:

The higher BG net and

The lower Sqn / Coy internal net.

Most of those call signs you've listed above are in the lower net.

In the old days the BG net would be something like:

0 = BG HQ

1 = A Sqn / Coy

2 = B Sqn / Coy etc.

With key people having personal callsigns

9 = CO

19 = OC A Sqn

etc.

So "1 this is 0" is just the BG HQ talking to A Sqn SHQ

"19 this is 9" is a person to person call where the CO as an individual wishes to talk to the OC as an individual

These days with daily changing callsigns and random allocations you need to look up a table to figure out who has what call sign on what day.

2. Do infantry cross-attachments to an armoured (tank) BG still receive an “I (India)” prefix and tank attachments to an armoured infantry BG still receive a “T (Tango)” prefix? What about recce, is that still a “V (Victor)” prefix?

This information will help me tailor an accurate callsign template for the British unit.

Depends. :)

If the infantry is just attached for a particular task (i.e. here today, gone tomorrow) and if they are "unique" (i.e. you don't have A Sqn and A Coy in the same BG) then they'll probably not use the prefix.

If there is duplication then they'd probably still use them.

I’ll probably have some more questions later on about the best way to adapt the Pizzaro to replicate the Warrior (by disabling Stabilisation and Ballistic Computer for example) and the best, or should I say least worst, proxy for the Scimitar (i.e. CV90/30-FI with no infantry?).

Do you have a timeframe for getting this out?

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Thanks Mark. Given it'll be a CT-sized H2H the question about squadron / company prefixes may be moot anyway.

In terms of time frames I'm going to try to avoid my normal obsessive immersion while completing scenarios (which drives my wife mad) and develop this one at a more relaxed pace. Still, I'd be surprised if I didn't have a working Beta available by the end of April...

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the best, or should I say least worst, proxy for the Scimitar (i.e. CV90/30-FI with no infantry?).

Hmm I dunno, Maybe a CV9040 with HE only.

(RARDEN Anti Armour performance is rumoured to be erm, poor.)

completely manual turret

no infantry

I'm thinking an 8 round mag is closer to the RARDEN than a 44 round belt.

:biggrin:

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RARDEN Anti Armour performance is rumoured to be erm, poor.

Well its great for what its meant to shoot at, if you have to shoot. However shooting is usually avoided as it compromises your position.

It will eat Motorcycles, BRDM, BTR-80 and PT-76 for breakfast.

Start shooting at a T-80 and you deserve to die.

This is in keeping with the Brit approach to reconnaissance (sneak and peak). UK recce units are not equipped for the US centric "recon by fire" approach.

The most potent system in UK recce units is the radio. The rest of the vehicle is just a means of providing power to it and moving it around.

The same thing applies to Scorpion, after the radio, its next best weapon are the 76mm smoke rounds to help screen your withdrawal, not the HESH rounds. :)

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The most potent system in UK recce units is the radio. The rest of the vehicle is just a means of providing power to it and moving it around.

I was taught the MK1 eye ball first then the radio but that's just me being picky :biggrin:

but yeah your right when we were attached to armoured Rece then they hardly ever fired there main gun. unless we were playing opfor and we then pissed them off with taking the parachute off the shamoolies and fired then at there vehicles but that's another story.

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I was taught the MK1 eye ball first then the radio but that's just me being picky :biggrin:

But you need the radio to report back what the “MK1 eye ball“ observes.

Not point seeing “stuff” if you can’t tell anyone about it in a timely manner. :)

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But you need the radio to report back what the “MK1 eye ball“ observes.

Not point seeing “stuff” if you can’t tell anyone about it in a timely manner. :)

What do you think we did before radios?

"T-90s Sir! S**tloads of 'em"

"Define S**tload, Sergeant."

"More than one, Less than a F**ktonne."

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Well the first thing to remember is that usually there are two levels of nets:

The higher BG net and

The lower Sqn / Coy internal net.

Most of those call signs you've listed above are in the lower net.

In the old days the BG net would be something like:

0 = BG HQ

1 = A Sqn / Coy

2 = B Sqn / Coy etc.

With key people having personal callsigns

9 = CO

19 = OC A Sqn

etc.

So "1 this is 0" is just the BG HQ talking to A Sqn SHQ

"19 this is 9" is a person to person call where the CO as an individual wishes to talk to the OC as an individual

These days with daily changing callsigns and random allocations you need to look up a table to figure out who has what call sign on what day.

Depends. :)

If the infantry is just attached for a particular task (i.e. here today, gone tomorrow) and if they are "unique" (i.e. you don't have A Sqn and A Coy in the same BG) then they'll probably not use the prefix.

If there is duplication then they'd probably still use them.

Do you have a timeframe for getting this out?

Look with ref the British c/s system. It was set up so that all c/s of different arms and levels would look the same.

The c/s were also issued a daily changing c/s indicator and a spare which came with the Battle Code (BATCO) sheets. As we cannot duplicate a daily changing code I would suggest that you use the c/s indicators from the previous system ie

I + K = Infantry

T + U = Armour

G + W = Arty

E + F = Engineers

A = Army Air Corps etc

Irish

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What do you think we did before radios?

"T-90s Sir! S**tloads of 'em"

"Define S**tload, Sergeant."

"More than one, Less than a F**ktonne."

Firstly Hedgehog

neither you or I were born before radios, secondly neither were T90s and thirdly if you really need to know what "we did before radios" ask Mark

Irish

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Look with ref the British c/s system. It was set up so that all c/s of different arms and levels would look the same.

The c/s were also issued a daily changing c/s indicator and a spare which came with the Battle Code (BATCO) sheets. As we cannot duplicate a daily changing code I would suggest that you use the c/s indicators from the previous system ie

I + K = Infantry

T + U = Armour

G + W = Arty

E + F = Engineers

A = Army Air Corps etc

Irish

Thanks for the background and tip IrishHussar.

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thirdly if you really need to know what "we did before radios" ask Mark

Irish

Yes those were the days, when the men were men, "steam gunnery" was all the rage and the carrier pigeons were nervous. :)

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Yes those were the days, when the men were men, "steam gunnery" was all the rage and the carrier pigeons were nervous. :)

We should add dispatch Ryder's to all MP mission just in case the enemy jams communications

LoL. It would be fun to see what would happen. If in a mission we lost both map updates and communications With the C/O. in a large MP Mission. my guess mayhem,ha (IE a EMP weapon used by opfor)

Edited by Marko

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We should add dispatch Ryder's to all MP mission just in case the enemy jams communications

LoL. It would be fun to see what would happen. If in a mission we lost both map updates and communications With the C/O. in a large MP Mission. my guess mayhem,ha (IE a EMP weapon used by opfor)

Always fancied a CanAm Bombadier as an off road motorbike nearly bought one too about 10 years ago, the guy could not get it to start so I passed on it, he did have a few he had bought from surplus sales, it even still had a holster for a SA80 on it :)

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Just to add a few more into the mix.

All assuming using training BATCO sheet.

BG Net

0 - Control Station

0A - CO

0B - Command Vehicle (CV) 1 (Ops) (Main A) (CV Sultan)

0C - CV 2 ( Ops) ( this is under Main B i.e back up HQ)

0D - CV 3 ( ISTAR Group) ( Main A)

0E - CV 4 ( ISTAR Group. Usually NBC also) ( Main B)

R11B- CO Tank

R22B- Regt 2IC Tank

When Sqn OCs chat on BG net they will be allocated a SQN/Coy C/S ie

R10- A Sqn

R20- B Sqn

R30- C Sqn

R40- D Sqn

J10- A Coy

J20- B coy

J30- C Coy

J40- D Coy

Recce

Work in pairs ( Scimitar)

G21- OC Recce

G21A- CVRT

G22

G22A

G23

G23A

G24

G24A

FST Teams In WR OPV

K11

K12

K13

K14

Medical

R14- Medical Officer

R14B Armoured Ambulance ( Samaritan)

R14C- Regimental Aid Post

R14E- RAMC Section

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Just to add a few more into the mix.

All assuming using training BATCO sheet.

BG Net

0 - Control Station

0A - CO

0B - Command Vehicle (CV) 1 (Ops) (Main A) (CV Sultan)

0C - CV 2 ( Ops) ( this is under Main B i.e back up HQ)

0D - CV 3 ( ISTAR Group) ( Main A)

0E - CV 4 ( ISTAR Group. Usually NBC also) ( Main B)

R11B- CO Tank

R22B- Regt 2IC Tank

When Sqn OCs chat on BG net they will be allocated a SQN/Coy C/S ie

R10- A Sqn

R20- B Sqn

R30- C Sqn

R40- D Sqn

J10- A Coy

J20- B coy

J30- C Coy

J40- D Coy

Recce

Work in pairs ( Scimitar)

G21- OC Recce

G21A- CVRT

G22

G22A

G23

G23A

G24

G24A

FST Teams In WR OPV

K11

K12

K13

K14

Medical

R14- Medical Officer

R14B Armoured Ambulance ( Samaritan)

R14C- Regimental Aid Post

R14E- RAMC Section

Wowzas, that's a lot of alphanumerics. :)

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Well you have a choice of Engineers CS matrix, a BG, Sqn/Coy, Recce Regt, Support 1 and 2 one. Then choose from 25 letters per BATCO sheet to match up with the right matrix to use on the correct net! It can confuse us, let alone anyone listening in.

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Well you have a choice of Engineers CS matrix, a BG, Sqn/Coy, Recce Regt, Support 1 and 2 one. Then choose from 25 letters per BATCO sheet to match up with the right matrix to use on the correct net! It can confuse us, let alone anyone listening in.

I guess that's idea. :biggrin:

Soviet Intel Private: "Comrade Capitan, what's this RM0 call sign?"

Capitan: "Royal Mail Control Station"

:biggrin:

Someone should write a BATCO sheet decryption app for those fancy new radios. :)

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I was playing around with the creation of a British armour-heavy Combat Team last night. In the book it mentions British tank squadrons can be organised as four troops of 3x tanks or three troops of 4x tanks (plus HQ section of 2x tanks) as the situation demands. I understand the four troops of 3x tanks is the normal organisation and am keen to understand when a structure of three troops of 4x tanks is likely to be used? I'm sure it depends on the situation but are there any scenarios where the latter is more likely to be employed?

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Well two pairs (i.e. four vehicles per Troop) is much better when moving.

Two provide overwatch for the other two.

A four vehicle troop, also means better security / rest at night (more people therefore shorter picquets per person or more people per picquet).

Downside - The OC only has three manoeuvre units instead of four.

A three vehicle troop means one is covering for two and when the one moves forward he has no “mutual support” because he is all alone.

Edited by Gibsonm

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New structure for Armoured Regiment is a Sqn of 4 troops of 4 with the OC and 2IC in tanks making an 18 tank Sqn. Each Armoured Regiment will now only have 3 tank Sqns with a Command and Reconnaissance Sqn. HQ Sqn will now be QMs and MT etc.

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New structure for Armoured Regiment is a Sqn of 4 troops of 4 with the OC and 2IC in tanks making an 18 tank Sqn. Each Armoured Regiment will now only have 3 tank Sqns with a Command and Reconnaissance Sqn. HQ Sqn will now be QMs and MT etc.

Well and Truly Americanised... :biggrin:

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Always fancied a CanAm Bombadier as an off road motorbike nearly bought one too about 10 years ago, the guy could not get it to start so I passed on it, he did have a few he had bought from surplus sales, it even still had a holster for a SA80 on it :)

Ha CanAm, that brings back memories. Did my bike training on one of those when I joined JLR RCT down in Colerne in `83.

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I just bought the book ‘British Armoured Battle Group’ published by Concord in 2007 and highly recommend it as a resource for anyone interested in contemporary British armour, especially as it’s only £9.89: http://www.amazon.co.uk/British-Armoured-Battle-Group-Matzold/dp/9623611358/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362691830&sr=8-1

It includes tables of organisation and equipment for armoured (tank) and armoured infantry battalion-sized battle groups (BG). It includes plenty of high-quality colour photos of the Challenger 2, Warrior and CVR(T) families plus more.

Another very useful resource in the book is the British callsign template, which has diverged from that used by other Commonwealth countries, reproduced below:

11B – BG CO

22B – BG 2IC

0B – Squadron / Company OC

0C – Squadron / Company 2IC

10, 20, 30, 40 – Troop / Platoon commanders

11, 21, 31, 41 – Second vehicle in troop / platoon

12, 22, 32, 32 – Third vehicle in troop / platoon

As I’m about to begin development of a UK v AU H2H scenario I’ve been thinking about for a while, I’ve got a couple of questions for those here who know more about British organisation than I do:

1. Are the squadrons / companies in the BG identified by a letter suffix or prefix corresponding to their designation, such as “0B C” or “C 0B” or “10 A” or “A 10”? I’m struggling to understand how the squadrons / companies would be distinguished on the BG net without these or some other identifier.

2. Do infantry cross-attachments to an armoured (tank) BG still receive an “I (India)” prefix and tank attachments to an armoured infantry BG still receive a “T (Tango)” prefix? What about recce, is that still a “V (Victor)” prefix?

This information will help me tailor an accurate callsign template for the British unit.

I’ll probably have some more questions later on about the best way to adapt the Pizzaro to replicate the Warrior (by disabling Stabilisation and Ballistic Computer for example) and the best, or should I say least worst, proxy for the Scimitar (i.e. CV90/30-FI with no infantry?).

Thanks in advance for your help.

Cheers

As Irishhussar has already clarified there would be a prefix dependant on the Callsign Indicator (CI) on the daily changing BATCO sheet. There would also be suffixes too. So your 10, 20, 30, 40, 11, 21, 31, 41 etc etc, callsign could look something like this:

B10, B10A, B10B, B10C, B10D, B10E, B20, B20A, B20B, B20C, B20D, B20E etc etc. This would be the format for all types of callsigns in this style. However your command callsigns 0, 0A, 0B, 0C, 0D. would not have suffixes or prefixes.

Quote from wikipedia

British ArmyTactical voice communications ("combat net radio") use a system of call signs of the form letter-digit-digit. Within a standard infantry battalion these characters represent companies, platoons and sections respectively, so that 3 Section, 1 Platoon of B Company might be F13. In addition, a suffix following the initial call sign can denote a specific individual or grouping within the designated call sign, so F13C would be the Charlie fire team. Unused suffixes can be used for other call signs that do not fall into the standard call sign matrix, for example the unused 33A call sign is used to refer to the Company Sergeant Major.

Note that the letter part of the call sign is not the company's own letter (B vs F in the above example) - indeed, the letter designations are randomly assigned using BATCO sheets, and appear on CEIs (communication electronic instructions), and change along with the BATCO codes every 24 hours. This, together with frequency changes and voice procedure aimed at making every unit sound the same, introduces a degree of protection against simple traffic analysis and eavesdropping.

Not all radio users fit into the standard battalion model, but in order to continue the obfuscation they will be assigned a call sign that appears to be part of such a system. Presumably, the well-known B20 falls into this category.

Finally, the controller of each net has the call sign 0 ("zero"). There may also be a second controller - either a backup station or a commander who has delegated communication tasks to a signaller but may occasionally wish to speak in person - using the call sign 0A ("zero alpha").

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