US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

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Richard Stone
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US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Richard Stone » 23 May 2020 05:16

The five attached reports describe some of the tactics, methods and weapons used by US armor units during the battles in Northwest Europe during 1944 and 1945.

All of the reports were collected from the US Army publication ‘Battle Experiences’. The publication date of each report is listed in the attachment title.
BattExp- US Armor Tactics - 8 March 1945 - Gyrostabilizer.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics - 13 July 1944 -WP.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -30 March 1945 -WP.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics - 2 November 1944 -1.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -31 August 1944 -3.png
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Richard Stone
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Richard Stone » 23 May 2020 21:45

Attached are another five reports that describe some of the tactics, methods and weapons used by US armor units during the battles in Northwest Europe during 1944 and 1945.

All of the reports were collected from the US Army publication ‘Battle Experiences’. The publication date of each report is listed in the attachment title.
BattExp- US Armor Tactics - 12 August 1944 -Tips.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics - 16 August 1944 - Part 1 -Hedgerow.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics - 16 August 1944 -Part 2 -Hedgerow.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -18 November 1944 -TnkFirePower .png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -18 November 1944 -Light Tnks.png
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Richard Anderson
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 23 May 2020 21:53

I like number 5...no inflammable materials. What is propellant?
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Art
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Art » 24 May 2020 10:51

Richard Anderson wrote:
23 May 2020 21:53
I like number 5...no inflammable materials. What is propellant?
For instance, fabric previously used for cleaning and soaked in gasoline/oil. I guess, ammunition wouldn't catch fire so easily.
The enemy uses 0.30 caliber weapons against tanks to determine the range. A tank that receives 0.30 caliber fire is very likely to get a shell in a short time.
Funny, Soviet tankers noted the same thing: German tanks used machine guns for ranging and then switched to cannon fire. If you are hit by machine gun bullets - run away ASAP.

ROLAND1369
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by ROLAND1369 » 24 May 2020 15:30

Aside from the small quantity of cleaning materials, tanks frequently carry extra engine oil and spare fuel cans as well as the crews personal effect such as blankets, sleeping bags, and various canvas covers, some as large as the turret. This results in a significant quantity of flammable material stored externally and this is probably what they are referring to. Aside from this the most flammable portion of a tank is always the engine compartment. Having removed the power plant from more than one tank( US M60 series)the leaked oil, fuel, old rags leaves and other foliage is positively amazing in quantity and very flammable. Once the fire has started it can only ge worse as most tanks had and still have the fuel tanks located in the engine compartment.

Richard Anderson
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Richard Anderson » 24 May 2020 16:18

Art wrote:
24 May 2020 10:51
Richard Anderson wrote:
23 May 2020 21:53
I like number 5...no inflammable materials. What is propellant?
For instance, fabric previously used for cleaning and soaked in gasoline/oil. I guess, ammunition wouldn't catch fire so easily.
Sure, but as Roland notes that was generally stowed outside the tank. While I know of at least one tank stopping and jettisoning external stores like that because they were on fire (the life raft on a DD tank of D-Day)I have run into no accounts of material inside the tank catching fire...other than propellant.

Yes, I also understand about the potential risks of spilled fuel and oils in the engine compartment...except that never seemed to be a serious threat in combat. There are a number of instances of through and through hits to the engine compartments penetrating fuel tanks and even starting a fire, but without the complete loss of the tank. If the engine compartment fire extinguisher did not stop the fire the tank would definitely be disabled - the crew wasn't going to stick around for one - but the tank was repairable. It was not a catastrophic situation for the crew like a propellant fire.
"Is all this pretentious pseudo intellectual citing of sources REALLY necessary? It gets in the way of a good, spirited debate, destroys the cadence." POD, 6 October 2018

Yoozername
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Yoozername » 24 May 2020 21:49

Art wrote:
24 May 2020 10:51
Richard Anderson wrote:
23 May 2020 21:53
I like number 5...no inflammable materials. What is propellant?
For instance, fabric previously used for cleaning and soaked in gasoline/oil. I guess, ammunition wouldn't catch fire so easily.
The enemy uses 0.30 caliber weapons against tanks to determine the range. A tank that receives 0.30 caliber fire is very likely to get a shell in a short time.
Funny, Soviet tankers noted the same thing: German tanks used machine guns for ranging and then switched to cannon fire. If you are hit by machine gun bullets - run away ASAP.
I believe they are referring to wet stowage ammunition in shermans. I suppose they mean clothing, bedrolls, liquor, POL, etc. Those items should be hung outside. I doubt tank riders would want POL outside either.

Ranging by MG fire, especially when there is a similar velocity to main rounds, or a means to correlate between ballistics, seems to have been a tactic in other armies also. Probably good out to 600-800 meters before the trajectories diverge. I have read of 76 mm Shermans using this with the gyrostabilizer. The MG rounds are close enough in velocity that a moving Sherman 76 could drive, get a fix with MG tarcers, and then send a M62 round at a German tank.

The use of WP in the 75 mm has another nasty surprise compared to something like the 81 mm mortar WP. The shell only has a SQ or instantaneous fuse. There is no way to swap in another fuse as this would ignite the WP. Anyway, there is just enough HE in the central burster charge to split open the outer shell. This results in large 'scabbards' that fan out in a directed cone towards the enemy. If firing at a house, these would easily penetrate through outer walls and, depending on the construction, through the interior walls. If a direct hit is made on an ATG, it would shred the shield. A moratr round would just send the large fragments directly down into the earth. A hit on a roof would be good though. The 75 mm WP has much more velocity for its scabbards. The 81 mm WP mortar round is based on the large 81mm HE. Both have very thin walls compared to a 75 mm HE.

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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 May 2020 23:08

WP smoke is extremely unpleasant & toxic in concentration. Weapons crews inside a tank, bunker, house, or weapon position without good ventelation will ha difficulty breathing. Similar to a hefty dose of year gas.

Richard Stone
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Richard Stone » 24 May 2020 23:13

Attached are another five reports that describe some of the tactics, methods and weapons used by US armor units during the battles in Northwest Europe during 1944 and 1945.

All of the reports were collected from the US Army publication ‘Battle Experiences’. The publication date of each report is listed in the attachment title.

The text obscured by the ‘Declassified’ stamp can be read by enlarging the attachment.
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -3 September 1944 - Air Support -1.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -3 September 1944 - Air Support -2.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics - 31 October 1944 -TD Use.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -14 December 1944 -TD & Village.png
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Richard Stone
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Richard Stone » 26 May 2020 19:18

Attached are another five reports that describe some of the tactics, methods and weapons used by US armor units during the battles in Northwest Europe during 1944 and 1945.

The last report also demonstrates an example of marching fire by the infantry.

All of the reports were collected from the US Army publication ‘Battle Experiences’. The publication date of each report is listed in the attachment title.
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -11 January 1945 - 30 cal MG.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -1944 -Summary Book .png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -12 September 1944 -Tips1.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -12 September 1944 -Tips 2.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -9 December 1944 -Village.png
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Yoozername
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Yoozername » 27 May 2020 21:39

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
24 May 2020 23:08
WP smoke is extremely unpleasant & toxic in concentration. Weapons crews inside a tank, bunker, house, or weapon position without good ventelation will ha difficulty breathing. Similar to a hefty dose of year gas.
I read that in Normandy, the hedgerows acted like 'tubs' in that the toxic fumes would be trapped and the Germans would go on coughing jags till they passed out. The US infantry, after taking the position, would be alarmed when they came to, since they thought the Germans were dead.

I imagine a WP round, directly impacting the front of a turret, would splash particles into the optics and MG openings. The air intakes for the vehicle crew would suck in the smoke making breathing and staying buttoned up difficult. Also, burning WP particles would get sucked into the engine bays through the grates. A 105 mm WP TOT would be devastating.

Richard Stone
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Richard Stone » 27 May 2020 23:17

Attached are another five reports that describe some of the tactics, methods and weapons used by US armor units during the battles in Northwest Europe during 1944 and 1945.

All of the reports were collected from the US Army publication ‘Battle Experiences’. The publication date of each report is listed in the attachment title.

The text obscured by the ‘Declassified’ stamp can be read by enlarging the attachment.
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -3 January 1945 -Woods.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -11 February 1945 -2.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics- 21 December 1944 -Infty 1.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics- 21 December 1944 -Infty-2.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -17 January 1945 -Village.png
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Carl Schwamberger
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 28 May 2020 02:34

Yoozername wrote:
27 May 2020 21:39
...
I imagine a WP round, directly impacting the front of a turret, would splash particles into the optics and MG openings. The air intakes for the vehicle crew would suck in the smoke making breathing and staying buttoned up difficult. Also, burning WP particles would get sucked into the engine bays through the grates. A 105 mm WP TOT would be devastating.
Read at least one account, possibly two incidents where a Tiger tank was 'knocked out' by a WP round from a US M4 medium tank hitting it with a WP round. The fragments of burning Phosphorus on the tank side or deck & the fumes entering the interior caused the crew to abandon the Tiger. I'm unsure if the two descriptions I read were of the same incident, or two separate cases.

Fumes from any explosive in concentration can create a toxic atmosphere. Detonations after penetration into poorly ventilated buildings, tunnels, bunkers, ect.. will have temporarily incapacitating effects. Worse with some explosives. Picric Acid was a component of one of the explosives used in German cannon ammunition. In concentration the fumes from this explosive are severely damaging & deadly. That is a side effect is similar to a blister agent like Mustard gas.

But I digress. Point is Phosphorus ammunition does more than create w thick white cloud of smoke.

Richard Stone
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Richard Stone » 29 May 2020 20:29

Attached are another five reports that describe some of the tactics, methods and weapons used by US armor units during the battles in Northwest Europe during 1944 and 1945.

All of the reports were collected from the US Army publication ‘Battle Experiences’. The publication date of each report is listed in the attachment title.
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -11 October 1944 -Infty1.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -11 October 1944 -Infty2.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -5 November 1944 - Light Tanks.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -16 September 1944 -Air Support.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics - 11 February 1945 - Mine Clearing.png
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Richard Stone
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Re: US Armor Tactics & Weapons In Northwest Europe - 1944 & 1945

Post by Richard Stone » 30 May 2020 23:37

Attached are another five reports that describe some of the tactics, methods and weapons used by US armor units during the battles in Northwest Europe during 1944 and 1945.

All of the reports were collected from the US Army publication ‘Battle Experiences’. The publication date of each report is listed in the attachment title.
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -30 December 1944 -TD.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -29 December 1944 -AA Ground.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -26 January 1945 - T2 Retriever.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics -15 December 1944 -Tips.png
BattExp- US Armor Tactics - 21 January 1945.png
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