question was there a U.S unit using mostly german stuff

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paddywhack
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question was there a U.S unit using mostly german stuff

Post by paddywhack » 16 Sep 2002 11:58

i read some where that there was a american unit that used mostly german captured vechailes(?) during the war,when they were in france and germany,i remember reading that they even had a me.109 used for reccon painted in the good old U.S olive green! another story i read from the same book was that they were using so much captured equment(??) that once a german staff car flew past there column thinking it was german! until a short burst from a tommy gun made them P.O.Ws!
any one got any pics? in fact any one got any pics of german stuff being used and or captured by the allies?
any info would be sweet! :D

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Post by Zygmunt » 16 Sep 2002 15:57

I don't know about any US units which used German stuff as a matter of policy, but what your post did bring to mind is Popski's private army. A British unit, which started off doing various odds and ends in the desert, and then moved into Italy. I understand that they used a wide mix of equipment, including American Jeeps and bazookas when they could get them, and a variety of small arms. I would guess that maybe they had enough US gear in with their German trophies to be mistaken for Americans using German equipment. Their OC, Vladimir Peniakoff, wrote a book; "Popski's Private Army" about them. Might have some info in there.

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Post by James Patrick » 16 Sep 2002 20:46

The US 83d Infantry Division would "press gang" any vehicle into service that it came upon, German or anyother, to try to outpace the US 2nd Armored Division on its drive to Berlin. It could have been an expensive, custom made Mercedes and it would get a slab of OD paint and used in the advance. The division would earn the nickname the "Rag-tag circus".

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 16 Sep 2002 22:16

I guess you read it in Cornelius Ryan's book about the battle of Berlin?

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Post by James Patrick » 17 Sep 2002 16:06

Yes, sir.

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Post by RCR_Raider » 20 Sep 2002 14:49

a german staff car flew past


Flying Staff cars?? I must have this car. :mrgreen:


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Dwight Pruitt
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Post by Dwight Pruitt » 23 Sep 2002 04:29

In Eisenhower' Lieutenants, Russel Weighly writes that during the attack on Metz the US XX Corps fired fire missions using German 88's, 105's, French 155's and Russian 76.2 mm guns. This was due to an extreme shortage in Artillery ammunition caused by a foolish order to cutback production in 1943.

From time to time Allied units would use captured German MG, SMG and Stgw but would abandon them when it was found that they would draw fire from neighboring units because of their unique noise.

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Re: question was there a U.S unit using mostly german stuff

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 16 Aug 2020 17:21

The US field artillery had a 'intelligence' unit in the MTO/ETO that originally tested German cannon. In the latter half of 1944 this was expanded into a two battalion brigade or Group. (171st ?) It continued its intelligence/test function but also provided fire support using the captured stocks of German ammunition. I cant recall if this Group also used French cannon, or if that was a separate Group. There were other intelligence units for evaluating tanks, trucks, AA cannon, engineering equipment, ect.. but I don't recall any of those fielding a operational unit like the US FA did. I ran across a US artillery officer in this Group describing how they had to develop by trial firing tables for the captured cannon. Those essential times were seldom captured

Certain models of French 155mm caliber ammunition fit the US cannons. Those had originally been adapted from Great War era French cannon purchased by or license built by the the US.

The French were very aggressive at salvaging & using captured German equipment. Post war they maintained a battalion groups of Panther tanks for several years. I've seen claims they considered adapting the Panther to French manufacture, but have not collaborated that.

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Sheldrake
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Re: question was there a U.S unit using mostly german stuff

Post by Sheldrake » 16 Aug 2020 17:43

The British deployed some Coastal Artillery and airborne AA units to serve captured German equipment. The US may have followed a similar policy. Who manned the defences of Cherbourg against any German sneak attacks? There may have been a US Coastal artillery unit assigned to that task.

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Re: question was there a U.S unit using mostly german stuff

Post by Waleed Y. Majeed » 16 Aug 2020 18:11

A few of the early post war french designs were based on german tanks. The SOMUA SM looked a lot like a Tiger.
http://www.chars-francais.net/2015/inde ... ndes/chars

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Re: question was there a U.S unit using mostly german stuff

Post by Michael Kenny » 16 Aug 2020 20:11

Waleed Y. Majeed wrote:
16 Aug 2020 18:11
A few of the early post war french designs were based on german tanks. The SOMUA SM looked a lot like a Tiger.

It looks 'like' a Panther-which we all know was inspired by the T34 and some people claim the T34 is a Christie design.
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Re: question was there a U.S unit using mostly german stuff

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 17 Aug 2020 20:38

The Red Army set up a salvage program in 1942 & equipped a few regiments with German vehicles. One such effort placed a Soviet 76.2 caliber cannon on a heavily modified tank chassis. I don't recall if it was a PzK II or a III.

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Re: question was there a U.S unit using mostly german stuff

Post by Ironmachine » 18 Aug 2020 06:56

Carl Schwamberger wrote:The Red Army set up a salvage program in 1942 & equipped a few regiments with German vehicles. One such effort placed a Soviet 76.2 caliber cannon on a heavily modified tank chassis. I don't recall if it was a PzK II or a III.
You mean the SU-76i. It was was based on Panzer III and StuG III chassis, with a casemate superstructure on top housing the gun.

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Re: question was there a U.S unit using mostly german stuff

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Aug 2020 17:39

Yes. It appears slightly over 200 chassis were salvaged & turned into operational combat vehicles. 10% of them had reduced ammo storage to accommodate radios, for use as a command vehicle. Units were operational with this weapon from March 1943 to the spring of 1944, after which the surviving vehicles were used by a training unit/school.

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Re: question was there a U.S unit using mostly german stuff

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Aug 2020 17:50

Sheldrake wrote:
16 Aug 2020 17:43
... Who manned the defences of Cherbourg against any German sneak attacks? There may have been a US Coastal artillery unit assigned to that task.
I can't find any CA units assigned to the ETO. In 1944 the CA was being drawn down, with all personnel fit for overseas service reassigned to the Field Artillery. So, any US artillery men making use of the German or more likely French cannon at Cherbourg would have been from a FA unit. Tho some may have been former CA men.

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