Post news RSS Dev Blog #43 - The German Assault Class

We look at the German Assault class in Isonzo's upcoming free expansion, and it's Wolf Truce time once again!

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Hello soldiers!

Thank you all for your participation during the Armistice Day silence. We loved seeing and reading your comments in Discord as well.

Recently we shared a dev blog about the German rifle. We would like to continue this trend and shed some light on a different German class for this week.

The German Assault Class - “Stoßtrupp”

During World War One, Germany (and other nations) made use of assault troops, building a certain reputation for it. They would be fielding minimal equipment, armed with grenades and light rifles/pistols. In 1918 submachine guns were added to their loadout. The stormtroopers were made up of well-trained & experienced soldiers led by largely autonomous decision-making commanders. Their expertise and role was to break the impasse of trench warfare. Known as; mobile, ruthless, and effective - these troops are prevalent in WW1 imagery to this day.

STOSS SHOT INDIEDB

The Stoßtruppen in Isonzo showcase some classic characteristics you might know. Some of these are; the reinforced leather knee patches, grenades worn on the belt, grenade bags/chest plate, the gas mask worn at a readied position for immediate access. This all contributed to a general ‘lighter’ kind of equipment, which we mentioned earlier. Additionally, it wasn’t uncommon to see them with a trench dagger, like many assault forces during the war.

Let’s take a closer look at some of their equipment items!

Look out! Grenade!

The concept of the grenade was not something new during WW1, as it has been around for centuries. Prior to the Great War, it wasn’t an especially popular and effective piece of military equipment. With the introduction of Trench Warfare, the grenade became an increasingly apparent item.

The grenade was a useful tool for clearing entrenched positions such as bunkers and dugouts. Its efficiency for this purpose provided the standard infantry man a form of mobile light artillery. Its design changed and adopted during this new worldwide conflict and type of warfare it was now used in.

The grenade effectively gave the standard infantryman a form of mobile light artillery, and the designs adopted during the conflict borrowed many features from their predecessors.

Smaller ASSAULT EXAMPLE INDIEDB

Portable, powerful, simple, and easy to use – the German stick grenade would become intertwined with World War One imagery.

Appearing first in 1915, the stick grenade was a concussive blast grenade (unlike the French F1 and British Mills bomb) which didn’t always kill but would often stun opponents instead. The shape of the grenade was ideal for throwing and the short fuse made it a difficult weapon to avoid for the enemy.

Made out of a wooden handle, grenade head and fuse, it came with a hook on the grenade head making it carriable on the belt. Its shape made it quite safe to use accurately, as it was less likely to roll, compared with the rounder hand grenades of the period.

GRENADE THROW CLEAN INDIEBD

A faulty element of the original 1915 grenade was the pull cord located at the base, which could lead to accidental triggers. Therefore the new 1916 design introduced a small screw cap, which hid the cord (with a porcelain bead) safely located within the grenade’s wooden handle.

The German grenades came with a variety of different heads such as our M16 variant, which has the older Brennzünder 15 style grenade head. The M17 design in general was more streamlined and had a smaller grenade head. This was due to the more powerful explosive Trinitrotoluene that was used in these models.

Famous through both the First and Second World Wars, many variants of this simple design would be adopted throughout the years by multiple nations – though eventually the smaller compact style of the F1/Mills style grenade design eventually took over.

Eierhandgranate M17

Further adding to the German arsenal is the M17 Eierhandgranate (literally meaning ‘egg hand grenade’). Although the stick grenades showed their effectiveness on the battlefield, the German forces recognized a need for other grenade types. This led to the introduction of several small grenade designs that resemble a hen’s egg, hence the name. The n/A (Neuer Art / new model) improved on earlier models which were entirely smooth - not ideal for handling in the wet and mud that characterized many World War One battlefields.

Render GRENADE SET

This small grenade proved to be extremely portable but underpowered compared with the Stielhandgranate. It is not uncommon to see German troops with a plate worn on the chest for quick grenade usages. Effective in offensives, it was especially popular with assault roles. Photographs of this are rare as the grenades were often conveniently housed in a tunic pocket.

storm with egg grenade

4th and 5th soldier holding an egg hand grenade and plate

A battlefield find!

In 2017, we discovered this unearthed grenade during our trip to Fort Douaumont, which is near Verdun. With the grenade head of an older style M15 – we made sure we didn’t touch it!

finding INDIEDB

It was most likely an unwelcome, but unsurprising discovery by someone metal detecting.

Howling heard on the Eastern Front

It has gotten cold on the Eastern Front. The winter and snow have made it a difficult terrain for the soldiers to battle on. However, they’re not the only ones being affected by the cold season and the war. Like a soldier, the wolf awaits his moment to attack his prey in the woods...

Starting today until November 28, you can participate in the Wolf Truce in Tannenberg on PC! Hold the truce and obtain a special medal!

wolftruce

See you next week, soldiers!

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