Hello All ;
I heard my name mentioned in a Shadow........
To Mr. Anderson:
You are repeating the opinions of the much disputed Chieftains' Hatch ( Nicholas Moran ) who is an internet flack for an online computer wargame firm called Wargames America, makers of such dubious product as World of Warthogs. He has been going around flogging their games and trying to convince people that they are a worthwhile simulation of actual warfare, and as such, appears to be trying to re write history so that it matches his company's wargames.
In fact, in your own posting, you list thirteen purported uses of tanks according to FM 17-100 Armored Command Field Manual, 15 January 1944, pp. 22-23.
, of which fighting against enemy tanks is down at number ten on the list, and, as it is phrased:
j) Attack to destroy enemy armored units when forced to do so as a matter of self-preservation or when hostile tanks threaten seriously to disrupt operations of other troops.
Read that carefully, Mr. Anderson. It states that attacking enemy armoured units should only be done " when forced to do so as a matter of self-preservation...."
or when " hostile tanks threaten seriously to disrupt operations...."
Very simply, an attack on enemy tanks by U.S. Tanks was seen as a last ditch, last resort maneuver to prevent the destruction of the U.S. forces involved in the battle.
This is why the U.S. Army built Tank Destroyers. It was as a result of the German Blitzkrieg in Poland and France, and was an attempt by the U.S. Army to come up with a way to halt an armoured attack on U.S. forces. It started out as a theory, and the U.S. Army then came up with a Doctrine, ordered equipment manufactured ( T-12s, M-3 T.D.s, and finally M-10, M-18, and M-36 T.D.s , then trained men to carry out the doctrine, and went to war. And got stomped. In the Philippines. In Africa. And a few times in France.
When deployed correctly under ideal circumstances, the Tank Destroyers could be successfull. However, the majority of the time, they were an abject failure, either being unavailable when needed, or being used incorrectly which resulted in their suffering higher than desirable losses.
As a result of the Doctine being so successfull, when the War was over, the Tank Destroyer formations were broken up, and it was abandoned. And then a whole shipload of U.S. Army Officers who were responsible for it being created in the first place began to deny it ever existed, or that it was ever supposed to be solely responsible for defeating enemy tanks, or that they were responsible for so many good men getting killed for no good reason.
And don't let anyone kid you, Mr. Pips, there is no one more skilled at deflecting criticism than an officer of the United States Army. If you ever doubt it, just go read William Westmoreland's autobiography, " A Soldier Reports ".
Mr. Pips. you are correct, the best weapon to use in opposition to an enemy tank is one of your own tanks, provided it has superior speed, thicker armour, and a larger, longer ranged gun with armour piercing capability. In other words, the best way to defeat an enemy tank is with a better tank of your own. Provided you have one. If you don't, you are what is called ' Screwed ' .
This is what was discovered by the Soviets in the summer and autumn of 1941, and by the Germans at the same time. A tank, fitted with an Anti Tank Gun, has all the capabilities of a tank, and the additional advantage of being a Tank Destroyer or Anti Tank Gun.
This is so blindingly simple that the only reason, in my opinion, that it was not realized for so long in the United States Army, and why the U.S. Army failed to produce a satisfactory anti-tank tank, is because so many officers in the U.S. Army have what is called a ' Military Mind '.
Paul R. Ward
Military Mind (noun) Def: The ability to remove one's shirt without the necessity of unbuttoning one's collar.