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37mm tank destroyers

Discussions on all aspects of the United States of America during the Inter-War era and Second World War.
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37mm tank destroyers

Postby keith A on 21 Mar 2012 18:32

Which units were equipped with this (half track or GMC6) in North Africa and did they claim any kills against Panzers?

regards

Keith
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Re: 37mm tank destroyers

Postby Carl Schwamberger on 26 Mar 2012 03:20

Look for a unit history of the 601st TD battalion. That was one of the few which saw much combat in Tunisia, it was there from November 1942, and was equipped originally with the GMC TD. And, if my memory serves those did shoot at Axis tanks. They may have been involved in a company size action vs a German armor column near Medjeb al Bab in December 1942. I'll have to dig some books out and search.
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Re: 37mm tank destroyers

Postby Orwell1984 on 26 Mar 2012 14:57

http://www.tankdestroyer.net/index.php? ... Itemid=101
Brief history of the 601st with some links that may help.
Harry Yeide's book Tank Killers http://www.amazon.com/The-Tank-Killers- ... 1932033262 is worth looking at for some of the references he provides.
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Re: 37mm tank destroyers

Postby Ironmachine on 26 Mar 2012 16:29

Also the 701st Tank Destroyer Battalion used the GMC 6 in North Africa. There are operational reports available on this page:
http://www.tankdestroyer.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=244:701st-tank-destroyer-battalion&catid=44:battalions700s&Itemid=102
Worth having a look.
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Re: 37mm tank destroyers

Postby Carl Schwamberger on 27 Mar 2012 03:22

From Atkinson 'Army at Dawn'. Map on page 229 depicting the battles in and east of the Medjerida Valley of 6-10 Dec 1942, shows company C of the 701st TD battalion making a flank attack on a column of German vehicles of the 7th Pz Regiment. No clue from the text what they might have destroyed or what Company C was armed with.
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Re: 37mm tank destroyers

Postby Ironmachine on 27 Mar 2012 07:16

The operational report of C Company (http://www.tankdestroyer.net/images/stories/ArticlePDFs/701st_TD_Oct_3_42-Jan_24_43_Operations_of_Co_C.pdf) says that 4 German Mark IV tanks (and 1 anti-tank gun) destroyed on 10 December. Previously the report mentions the company being equipped with both 75mm and 37mm self-propelled guns, so probably the GMC 6 were involved in the attack, but there is no reference to which guns destroyed the German tanks.
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Re: 37mm tank destroyers

Postby keith A on 28 Mar 2012 16:12

Hi guys,

Based on your replies I have bought the Yeide book which is excellent. I believe there were some 37mm equipped M3 half tracks around but assume the 75mm ones did the most damage. The GMC6 seems like a proper Heath Robinson contraption!

all the best

Keith
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Re: 37mm tank destroyers

Postby Carl Schwamberger on 28 Mar 2012 21:46

Looking at the maps and Google Earth it is possible the terrain Company C was operating in would allow the 37mm armed vehicals to approach the road the Germans were using under cover for a few short ranted shots. Further east a battalion of Stuart tanks attacked the head of the same German column and got a higher score, tho losing 19 Stuarts that day. From that and a few other actions of the same light tank battalion it was demonstrated the US 37mm gun could get some kills, even with bad ammo. Required a lot of skill and sacrifice tho.
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Re: 37mm tank destroyers

Postby keith A on 06 Apr 2012 16:26

Hi Carl,

Did the French units ever use the half-track tank destroyers? I have never seen any photos.

regards

Keith
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Re: 37mm tank destroyers

Postby Carl Schwamberger on 07 Apr 2012 20:36

Keith.... possible - however - The M10 was in full production by the time the final plan to arm the French was in place. Neither have I yet seen it in the few French 'Armor' books or web sites I've perused On a formal/official basis I say not. Yet the long gunned halftrack keeps turning up in odd places long after it should have disappeared. Elsewhere in the this forum there is a photo of one on Omaha beach, undeniably there but it is not in any normal units TE.

I believe the French did acquire the usual numbers (six per regiment) of the 75mm howitzer on the halftrack. The regimental cannon company weapon.
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Re: 37mm tank destroyers

Postby keith A on 08 Apr 2012 09:13

Cheers again, Carl.
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