5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

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MarkF617
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by MarkF617 » 19 Sep 2020 22:41

The thing I've noticed about this thread and others like it is that some people get all wound up about how good or bad certain tanks are as if that is the decisive factor in battle. The reality is that tanks are one weapon in a combined arms force where other arms are equally important. Probably more important are supplies. No matter how good a tank it is useless without adequate fuel and ammo, as is any weapon.

Thanks

Mark.
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Thumpalumpacus » 19 Sep 2020 23:09

He who makes the claim must lay the evidence, Paul. You know that.

Also, wanted to say thanks to Richard for posting his screen-shots, that's some really interesting reading and your efforts are certainly appreciated by me.

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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 19 Sep 2020 23:10

MarkF617 wrote:
19 Sep 2020 22:41
The thing I've noticed about this thread and others like it is that some people get all wound up about how good or bad certain tanks are as if that is the decisive factor in battle. The reality is that tanks are one weapon in a combined arms force where other arms are equally important. Probably more important are supplies. No matter how good a tank it is useless without adequate fuel and ammo, as is any weapon.

Thanks

Mark.
This point has been missed routinely since I first participated in such discussions back in the 1960s. But, start a thread on combined arms & you have maybe 0 people participating who can write with any authority on the subject. Trawling through the entire forum you might find a half dozen with any actual understanding of the subject or knowledge. Of the hundred+ tactical argues I've witnessed I have been nonplussed by the number of players who ignore their fire support & infantry, focusing on clever maneuvers with air tanks alone.

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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by paulrward » 20 Sep 2020 00:13

Hello All :

Mr. Thumpalumpacus stated :
He who makes the claim must lay the evidence, Paul. You know that.

Mr. Thumpalumpacus, I would love to be able to go back to November of 1974, and hand myself
a cell phone or a video camera, and record the entire day ( It started just after 9:00 AM, and we
didn't clean up the place until after 6:00 PM ) But it is almost 46 years ago now. I was in college,
and no one I knew of had a movie camera, much less one that could record sound. And if Dave's
Father was still alive, he would be nearly 100 now, and I haven't heard from Dave, his son, since
about 1981. when we ran into each other for about five minutes at Pacificon, a West Coast
Wargaming Convention where I was running a naval wargame in one of the rooms. I was so busy,
I didn't think to get his phone number, and I never saw him again at the Con.

There are those who seem to believe that if something is written down, then it happened, and if
there are no photographs, then it never occurred. Which means, I suppose, that the American
Revolution never happened, because there is no proof that it occurred, no photos, no audio
recordings, just memories that were written down later.

Mr. Thumpalumpacus, you should read the autobiography of Joseph Plumb Martin, a soldier in
the American Revolution. His account is gripping , full of detail, and provides a splendid
picture of his experiences in the American Revolution. Is it TRUE ? Who can say. For all
we know, Martin was an elderly liar trying to weasel a pension out of the U.S. Government.

But, if you read what is in his book, you realize he was giving a true account of his time in the
Continental Army, and that he REALLY DID speak to George Washington !


There is a Historian on this Forum who is working on a book that will provide a history of the
events his father experienced in the Second World War. Is this man's father a liar, and is
the man a gullible fool to believe him ? I wouldn't say that, first because I am more polite
than he is, and second, his father probably told him the truth, or at least what he knew of it.

My own father, ( now deceased ) served in the USN during WW2, and I spoke with him often
over the years about his experiences. ( He was a Aviation Machinists Mate First, who flew
in Martin JM-1s that were painted bright yellow, and he even rode in the back seat on several
occasions when the SNJ he was on flew out to and landed on either the Sable or the Wolverine,
two paddle wheel powered aircraft carriers that were cruising on Lake Michigan off the shores
of Chicago. )

He bequeathed to my older brother a carved wooden model of an F4U, painted unlike any you
will see in photos, but painted to match the aircraft at NAS Great Lakes, using the actual paints
used on F4Us that were in the paint shop there.

Knowing that I was involved in firearms, he once asked me about the rifle he carried on guard
duty. He told me it was called an ' Enfield ', which he didn't understand, because the Enfield
was a British rifle. I was able to explain to him the origin and history of the P-14 and M1917
Enfield rifles that were used by the United States Army, and which had been passed to the
Navy at the outset of WW2.

Now, if I stated on this Forum that my Father, while in the United States Navy, had flown in
Martin Marauder Bombers on hazardous missions under fire, and had carried an Enfield Rifle
while on guard duty, there are people who would call me a liar. Which should tell you something
about their level of knowledge.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Sep 2020 03:06

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
19 Sep 2020 23:10
MarkF617 wrote:
19 Sep 2020 22:41
The thing I've noticed about this thread and others like it is that some people get all wound up about how good or bad certain tanks are as if that is the decisive factor in battle. The reality is that tanks are one weapon in a combined arms force where other arms are equally important. Probably more important are supplies. No matter how good a tank it is useless without adequate fuel and ammo, as is any weapon.

Thanks

Mark.
This point has been missed routinely since I first participated in such discussions back in the 1960s. But, start a thread on combined arms & you have maybe 0 people participating who can write with any authority on the subject. Trawling through the entire forum you might find a half dozen with any actual understanding of the subject or knowledge. Of the hundred+ tactical argues I've witnessed I have been nonplussed by the number of players who ignore their fire support & infantry, focusing on clever maneuvers with air tanks alone.
Oh, absolutely, which is what makes the denigration of the Medium Tank M4 and the adulation of the Panther so comedic. Although stating that the Germans lost 100% of their tank force in World War II is a bit of reductio ab adsurdam, it is also precisely true, and illustrates the absolute failure of so many to see the forest, while concentrating on individual leaves.
"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

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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Richard Anderson » 20 Sep 2020 03:16

BTW, for those wondering about Joseph Plumb Martin, yes, indeed we can say his narrative was probably based upon first-hand knowledge, since in fact his service was recorded by his regiment and by the Connecticut Adjutant General. Since he already was fully qualified for a pension it is unlikely he was writing it to obtain a pension, but such is the logic of fantasists. His account also tracks with other accounts of his regiment's activities. Did he "dress it up" for posterity? Undoubtedly, since that is what old soldiers do, which is why we have "war stories" as opposed to "history".

Meanwhile, I can discern not one iota of evidence from this particular fantasist to contravene the records that we do have, which show that the only American units to bring Medium Tanks M3 to England were three of the four 1st Armd Div medium tank battalions, plus the 751st Tk Bn, 752d Tk Bn, and 755th Tk Bn, and most of those they took to North Africa. So roughly 381 tanks including spares. All went to North Africa and the survivors were then turned over to the French in early 1943.

The 4th Armd Div transitioned entirely to the Medium Tank M4, in the US, months before deploying to the UK where they drew a full set of M4/M4A1, including 105mm-armed assault guns, possibly the first to be so issued in theater. Why an anonymous sergeant would "train" on a tank that was declared Limited Standard in April 1943 and Obsolete in April 1944 is beyond me.
"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

paulrward
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by paulrward » 20 Sep 2020 04:51

Hello All :

Mr. Anderson posted :
Meanwhile, I can discern not one iota of evidence
A good rule of thumb for knowledgeable researchers: Absence of Evidence is NOT NECESSARILY
Evidence of Absence.
three of the four 1st Armd Div medium tank battalions, plus the
751st Tk Bn, 752d Tk Bn, and 755th Tk Bn, and most of those they
took to North Africa. So roughly 381 tanks including spares.
So, by your own admission, MOST of the Tanks were taken to North Africa. NOT ALL. MOST. Your
own words.
All went to North Africa
All of them, Mr Anderson ? What about damaged Tanks ? Tanks that had major mechanical issues ?
And how about Tanks that had been cannabalized for parts to keep other tanks running ? Would they
load a dead or broken down tank onto a transport, and haul it to North Africa, to sit around, as broken
down as it was in England ?
Why an anonymous sergeant would "train" on a tank that was declared
Limited Standard in April 1943 and Obsolete in April 1944 is beyond me.

It appears, Mr. Anderson, that you know less about the M3 Lee and the M4 Sherman than you claim to
know. Both had essentially the same engine ( for some variants, at least ) a similar drive train, and the
hand controls for the driver were essentially identical. Please feel free to GOOGLE the photos for the
driver's controls for both tanks to see for yourself.

So, Mr. Anderson, if you were training new, inexperienced drivers with NO previous time driving a Tank,
and you wished to avoid damaging any of the new, front line M4 Shermans by handing it over to raw
recruit drivers who might wreck a transmission, damage an engine, strip a track, or just plain run the
Tank into a ditch and turn it over, would you give them an M4 Sherman, or, if you had some worn out
M3 Lees that had no tactical value and were just sitting around, would you let them learn to drive one
of those for their first lessons.

Remember, Mr. Anderson, Fighter Pilots in WW2 didn't transition from a T6 Texan directly to a P51
Mustang, they went via a P39 Aircobra or P40 Warhawk. Usually a tired old machine that was too
obsolete for combat, and was now serving at a training field.


Next, Mr Anderson, AT NO TIME did I state that Dave's father was trained in the 4th Armored Division.
He MIGHT have done so, or he might have passed through a training pool, gotten a quicky one day
set of lessons on how to steer a Tank, and then was passed to the 4th Armored after they had
decided he was able to handle the job. This was often done in England. After all, they even set
up a special training command for airborne troops in England, where, instead of spending four weeks
to qualify a paratrooper, they did it in eight days !

I wish I had asked him more questions, and written down his answers. But, after all, this was the
1970s, WW2 veterans were everywhere ( ALL of our fathers were WW2 vets ! ) and It just didn't
seem to be a priority then.




Now, Mr. Anderson, you seem to enjoy debunking my stories. What if I told you about a retired
Air Force Officer who flunked out of Flight School, became an Airline Pilot, taught at the Air
War College in Alabama, survived the Japanese Attack on December 7th, then flew with the
Flying Tigers, was a Air Ace, worked as Test Pilot for the Air Force, flew B-17s, served in Korea,
and retired as a Major who had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, not once, but TWICE !


Would you believe that story ? Be honest now.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Voices that are banned, are voices who cannot share information....
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Michael Kenny » 20 Sep 2020 05:36

paulrward wrote:
14 Sep 2020 20:03


Now, the sergeant I spoke with ( he was addressing a group of war-gamers, who were a mix of high
school and college students ) made the joke that EVERY German tank looked like a Tiger when they ran
into it ! I attach an illustration to show this point :


He did NOT state that the verbal orders only applied to Tigers or Panthers, he simply stated that, when
they started to run into large numbers of German tanks, they were instructed not to try to engage them
one on one, but rather to hold back, and call in the T.D.s. ( I assume that this meant that they could,
if it was available, call in artillery or air strikes, but he didn't mention that ) He also stated that they
were told that, " unless we had a lot of tanks, you know, like five of six to one on the German, that
we shouldn't try to take them on - but if there were a lot of us, we could try to get around them, and
take them from behind. "

I asked him if that was a written order, and he responded, " No, an officer would be crazy to put that
in writing.... it was all word of mouth, you know, in the morning briefings, and we all knew that it
was what we should do.... "

The sergeant was in the 4th Armored Division, part of Third Army, and he fought from the major breakout
of Operation Cobra until the final days as they neared Czechoslovakia. He stated that he commanded
three different tanks during that time, only the last having a 76mm gun.
The trouble with making things up is the story changes every time you repeat it. You first 'made this up' back in 2015

This post from October 23rd 2015:

viewtopic.php?p=1974080#p1974080

with this quote:
Screevvnshot_174.jpg
and again on Nov 30th 2016 here:
paulrward wrote:
30 Nov 2016 03:16


I have also read an interview conducted after the war of a Sergeant who was a tank commander in the Armored Divisions, and who revealed that he was ordered by superior officers never to engage German tanks unless the odds were three to one in favor of the Americans. These orders were verbal orders, and when the Sergeant was asked by the interviewers if the orders were ever put in writing, he replied, " Are you crazy ? "

Note how what you once claimed was something you read about Armored Divisions in general has now become a story re-told to you in person by a man in a specific Armored Divison.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Ironmachine » 20 Sep 2020 09:04

paulrward wrote:When the Sergeant mentioned the M3 Lee, one of the organizers of the game immediately dug into
the modified fishing lure box that he used to store the model tanks, and produced an M3, painted up
in Olive Drab. The Sergeant held it on the palm of his hand, pointed to it, and said, " Yeah, that's it-
you can see it had the gun on the side - I sat in the driver's seat right there...."

So, he mentioned the M3 Lee, and when one was placed in his hand, was able to point out where
the driver sat.
I must confess that I don't understand the particular relevance of knowing where the driver sat in the M3. I know that and I am not a WWII veteran, neither have I ever drive a tank (let alone an M3, which I have only seen in images). Is there something I'm failing to understand?

paulrward wrote:There are those who seem to believe that if something is written down, then it happened, and if there are no photographs, then it never occurred.
But surely you agree that there are also those who seem to believe that if anyone claims that something happened to him, then it happened, even if the story does not have internal consistency and regardless of how fantastic it seems.:wink:

Regards.

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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Ironmachine » 20 Sep 2020 09:10

Michael Kenny wrote:Note how what you once claimed was something you read about Armored Divisions in general has now become a story re-told to you in person by a man in a specific Armored Divison.
And the odds of "three to one in favor of the Americans" before engaging German tanks has become in this thread "unless we had a lot of tanks, you know, like five of six to one on the German".

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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Thumpalumpacus » 20 Sep 2020 13:10

paulrward wrote:
20 Sep 2020 00:13
Hello All :


Mr. Thumpalumpacus, I would love to be able to go back to November of 1974, and hand myself
a cell phone or a video camera, and record the entire day ( It started just after 9:00 AM, and we
didn't clean up the place until after 6:00 PM ) But it is almost 46 years ago now. I was in college,
and no one I knew of had a movie camera, much less one that could record sound. [...]

[Trimmed for brevity -- Thump]

[...] Now, if I stated on this Forum that my Father, while in the United States Navy, had flown in
Martin Marauder Bombers on hazardous missions under fire, and had carried an Enfield Rifle
while on guard duty, there are people who would call me a liar. Which should tell you something
about their level of knowledge.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
None of that changes the fact that he who advances a claim assumes the burden of demonstrating it. And what is advanced without evidence may be dismissed without evidence.

It's not that I disbelieve you. It's that it's rather pointless bringing up a source that no one -- yourself included -- can here access.

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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by paulrward » 20 Sep 2020 14:42

Hello All :

To Mr. Michael Kenny"

No, you have the order of events wrong. I was informed, verbally, by the father of an aquaintance
about the verbal orders not to engage enemy tanks, and when I asked the question about it being in
writing, he responded, " No, are you crazy ? " I filed this away in my memory. This took place
in November of 1974.

Years later, I was reading an account of interviews with a group of former Sherman Tank crewmen,
conducted by, I believe, but am not certain, by historians affiliated with the University of Chicago ( again,
I MAY be wrong on this ) and the same question as to attacking Germans Tanks came up. Again, the NCO's
stated that the orders were verbal, and they asked the same question, " Are You Crazy ? '

In other words, what I had been told by one tanker, was being stated to other people by other tankers-
I believe in legal terms this is referred to as ' Witness Corroboration ' .

I have tried to find the interview on the Internet, but have not been able to. There are ( or were )
several interviews with former M4 Sherman Tank crewmen on YouTube - and even some snippets of an
interview with the much maligned Belton Cooper, who quotes a letter from General Rose to Eisenhower
on why U.S. Tank losses were so high. General Rose informed Eisenhower that he was told by an M4
Sherman gunner that to knock out a German tank, they had to close to within 600 yards, and hit it on
the flank, while the German could knock out their Sherman at 2000 yards !



Now, Mr. Kenny, I was going to college in the early 70s. At that time, there were a lot of returning
Viet Nam Veterans who, with a new GI Bill, were taking college classes. On many occasions, I would
sit with them, eating lunch, having a 7-Up, or smoking a joint. ( and, Mr. Kenny, you need to under-
stand, at this point, right after the end of the Viet Nam War, so many ugly things were being stated
about Viet Nam Vets that, in some circles, like Academia and Entertainment, they were considered
as Pariahs. I was different. I have always been an outsider, and I enjoy hanging out with other
outsiders. We are sort of a Club, that you, Mr. Kenny, will never be allowed to join .... )

On one occasion, a Viet Nam Vet who was black was describing racism in the Army, and he mentioned
that, whenever his platoon entered an area where there could be booby traps, land mines, or ambushes,
if there was a white soldier ' Walking Point ', the officer would pull him off, and substitute a black soldier.
The Viet Nam Vet quoted the famous line from the Mel Brooks Comedy, Blazing Saddles, " Don't send
in a mule, send in a ( N-word ) ! " His statement was delivered with such bitterness that, Mr. Kenny, I
don't think you can even imagine it.

Nearly a decade later, while working for the Monolithic Memories Corporation as a Process Engineer,
I was working with a Production Supervisor named Rick, who was black, and also a VietNam Vet.
On one occasion, several of us engineers and some of the supervisors went out to lunch together at
a restuarant called St. James, on Lawrence Expressway in Sunnyvale.

The subject of the Viet Nam War came up, and Rick, over his beer, mentioned how, whenever his unit
ran into a dangerous area, suddenly the black soldiers were made to ' Walk Point ' for the group. He
smiled in a bitter fashion, and muttered, " Don't send in no Mule, send in a ( N-word ) ! "

Mr. Kenny, two different men, nearly ten years apart, described something that each of them had
experienced seperately. It served, in my mind, to explain why black casualties were 25 % higher than
white casualties based on their relative numbers in the U.S. Army in Viet Nam. The Mel Brooks movie
came out AFTER the war in Viet Nam was effectively over, but the Meme had entered the lexicon
of the Black Viet Nam Veterans. " Don't send in no Mule, send in a ( N-word ) ! "



Just as an Idle Factoid ; The black Viet Nam Vet who I was speaking to at college rode an bright orange
Hard Tailed Triumph Tiger Chopper, with Springer Forks, a King and Queen Seat, Z-Bars, twin headlights,
a Sportster Gas Tank, and a chromed, hexagonal oil tank. I had a Metallic Brown Strut Tailed Triumph
Tiger Chopper, six inches over stock, with a Cobra Seat and Pull Back handlebars.

On one occasion, my Calculus Professor, who rode to work on a Gold Honda 750-four with a Windjammer
Fairing and Saddlebags, came to work in the rain, and left his headlight on, draining his battery.

I came out to get on my bike, and found him hopelessly trying to kick start a bike he had always started
electrically. Matters weren't helped by the fact that he had flooded it.... After watching him kick with
ever decreasing force and increasing hopelessness, I offered my help. He got off, I got on, I closed the
fuel petcocks, held the throttle wide open, and kicked the bike over for about thirty seconds to clear out
the fuel. Then, I opened the petcocks, jumped up, and came down on the starter with my leg straight,
full weight on my right instep, twisting the throttle, and that four cylinder rice rocket thundered to life
with a roar !

I nursed the throttle for a few seconds until it settled into a stable idle, and then climbed off. My
Professor was smiling and shaking his head. I walked over to my bike, climbed on, and opened
the Petcock, tickled the Amal, and with one jump, got the sorry old bitch, for the first and only time
in it's life, to start on the first kick ! My Professor and I rode out of the Parking Lot together, and at
the street, he turned left and I went right.

And I passed Calculus that Semester.

I would like to have him verify this story for you, but about two years after I graduated from college,
despite his watching his weight, and running several miles every day to maintain his cardio health, he
suffered a massive, fatal heart attack and died in his sleep. He was a wonderful guy and a really
excellent math teacher.



Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
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Voices that are banned, are voices who cannot share information....
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Michael Kenny » 20 Sep 2020 15:17

paulrward wrote:
20 Sep 2020 14:42


No, you have the order of events wrong. I was informed, verbally, by the father of an aquaintance
about the verbal orders not to engage enemy tanks, and when I asked the question about it being in
writing, he responded, " No, are you crazy ? " I filed this away in my memory. This took place
in November of 1974.

Years later, I was reading an account of interviews with a group of former Sherman Tank crewmen,
conducted by, I believe, but am not certain, by historians affiliated with the University of Chicago ( again,
I MAY be wrong on this ) and the same question as to attacking Germans Tanks came up. Again, the NCO's
stated that the orders were verbal, and they asked the same question, " Are You Crazy ? '

In other words, what I had been told by one tanker, was being stated to other people by other tankers-
Keep digging. These excuses are really funny..................
paulrward wrote:
20 Sep 2020 14:42

I believe in legal terms this is referred to as ' Witness Corroboration ' .

Or as we say plain English 'a tissue of lies'


paulrward wrote:
20 Sep 2020 14:42
two different men, nearly ten years apart, described something that each of them had
experienced seperately.
No dear. What happened is you have been peddling this made-up story for years and you forgot to stick to your script. This latest 2020 is different from your original 2015 version and the slightly changed 2016 version. Liars need good memories and your has been found wanting. Please continue with the pathetic excuses.

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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by paulrward » 20 Sep 2020 15:24

Hello Mr Thumpalumpacus:

Here are two articles I found this morning that are worth your reading. They will enrage the Sheman
Fanbois, but they are both based on interviews with actual M4 Sherman Tankers.

In the first one, you will find the following passage :
Fury accurately portrays how superior the German tanks were. A Sherman
provided you with protection against most enemy fire but against a Tiger it could
easily become your coffin. I remember a very near miss where an eight cm shell
from a Tiger tank went within inches of our turret and we decided not to stay
around too long after that. In open combat we never had a chance. So, like in
Fury, we always had to be one step ahead. It was only because we could call up
air strikes and had many more tanks than the Germans that we eventually won.
you can find the article at :

https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmbl ... -realistic



You should also read the following account, based on an interview with a 2nd Armored tanker named
Bromberg, which actually contains some of the incidents from the movie, ' Fury ' . You can find the
article at :

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/ ... page=0%2C3



So, these are two more, unverifiable accounts made by veterans. Believe them or not, as you prefer.


Respectfully :

Paul R. Ward
Last edited by paulrward on 20 Sep 2020 15:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 5 Shermans 1 Tiger/Panther Myth?

Post by Ironmachine » 20 Sep 2020 15:31

paulward wrote:I believe in legal terms this is referred to as ' Witness Corroboration ' .
I'm not a legal expert, but I'm sure (without even beginning to consider the matter of witness credibility) that two witnesses making the same claim is not the same as a third person claiming that he knew two witnesses that made the same declaration.

Regards.
Last edited by Ironmachine on 20 Sep 2020 15:40, edited 3 times in total.

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