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Amphibious Operations Using Tanks, Part 3


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The_Chieftain #1 Posted Apr 11 2012 - 14:50

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For the last part of his three-part series, I yet again hand over the keyboard to Mr Harry Yeide. - The_Chieftain

Normandy: Second-Largest American Armored Amphibious Assault.

The Saipan operation is far eclipsed in the popular memory by the landings that had taken place in Normandy, France, only nine days earlier, but for the men of the armored force, the Pacific assault was a bigger show. Sixty-eight Army amtanks participated in the assault wave at Saipan, as compared with 102 amphibious and fifty-nine wader-equipped tanks at Omaha and Utah Beaches, but to that must be added 200 Army-crewed amtracs at Saipan.
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kurgen22 #2 Posted Apr 11 2012 - 20:00

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Good read, just like to say that an Amtrac isnt a tank by any means. There was a world of difference between an amtrac and the modified M4s used in DD. The Amtracs were developed to replace the higgins boat, which had no tracks and got stuck on coral reefs. Amtracs could deliver troops to the beach and beyond. They were not as armored as a tank and only a few carried guns larger than heavy caliber machine guns. They were not manueverable ans slower then a tank.Their bread and butter was carrying personnel from the amphibs to the beach, They were used to move supplies on land but there werent designed to land assault.

redhairdave #3 Posted Apr 11 2012 - 21:00

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well written!

Cirran #4 Posted Apr 12 2012 - 06:33

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Chieftain, outstanding read. I really appreciate these historical articles. As a military man myself, I am always amazed at what the military man did in WWII. I have tried to put myself in their shoes storming a beach like Omaha. I for the life of me just can not see me having that kind of bravery. I am blessed to live next door to a WWII Veteran. The stories he has shared are simply awe inspiring. I wonder if the bugle called today. How many men and women would be able to endure what these men went through.

Again thank you so very much for these articles.

Cirran the tank commander with the bouncy 105mm.

Edited for clarification.

Winston_Churchill #5 Posted Apr 12 2012 - 06:44

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Ah very interesting, very nice article.  When i was at Tankfest 2011 in England i saw the only Sherman DD with the screen still in working order as it is housed in the museum at Bovington there.  A peculiar vehicle!

djb_95 #6 Posted May 15 2012 - 20:50

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My father was a heavy equipment operator in WWII.  He drove an Osgood shovel and bulldozers.  He was originally supposed to be dropped in shallow water off the beach at Omaha beach with his equipment.  He was supposed to stay with his equipment in the water until they could get some bulldozers going and drag them in to the beach.  Then they would use the heavy equipment to clear debris and obstacles and make roads for tanks and trucks.

They spent days putting grease and other fittings on their equipment to try to waterproof the engines and other important gear.  As June 6 approached the higher ups decided they didn't have enough amphibious transport to make this work.  Thank God for that, otherwise I probably wouldn't be here.

As it was, they finally got onto Omaha beach on June 12th.  After removing the grease and waterproof fittings, his first job was to dig a giant slit trench to bury dead livestock.

Other than an occasional funny anecdote about basic training, my dad never told me anything about his war service until 1995.  One day in 1995 I found a case with a Bronze Star in it.  My dad finally opened up about some of the stuff he had seen - the rows of bodies still waiting to be removed on Omaha beach, the Nazi death camps, the sounds, the smells.

The Bronze star was for action in a little French town where he was driving a bulldozer clearing ruble out of the way for a big tank and mechanized infantry column.  They were being held up by piles of debris blocking the only street through town.  A German machine gun opened up on him in his open cockpit bulldozer.  It put holes in the back of his seat and put dozens of holes in the engine cowling of his bulldozer.  He got mad and kept right on working while bullets pinged off the blade and went through the engine cowling.  In the meantime 4 tanks pulled up behind him and opened up with their 50 cal machine guns.  Thousands of tracers went over and to the side of him.  These crossed paths with steady fire from German machine guns down the street trying to get him and knock out the bulldozer.  He kept driving for a few minutes under fire until he had cleared a path for the tanks, then he baled off the bulldozer and dived though the window of a nearby house.  The tanks roared on down the street and destroyed the building where the Germans were emplaced.

summer616 #7 Posted Dec 15 2012 - 03:08

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*removed*
Account Selling / Trading / Gifting -- Perma Forum and Game ban.
|Sadukar09|

Edited by Sadukar09, Dec 17 2012 - 21:11.


Xlucine #8 Posted Dec 15 2012 - 19:19

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Looks like someone forgot to hide this thread... duuuurp

Winston_Churchill, on Apr 12 2012 - 06:44, said:

Ah very interesting, very nice article.  When i was at Tankfest 2011 in England i saw the only Sherman DD with the screen still in working order as it is housed in the museum at Bovington there.  A peculiar vehicle!

I'm pretty sure the screen doesn't work anymore, at least I wouldn't trust that large window in the side to keep water out. It looks like a non-runner.

Edited by Xlucine, Dec 19 2012 - 20:58.


The_Chieftain #9 Posted Dec 15 2012 - 19:32

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Speaking of, I saw what appears to have been an M4A3(76) HVSS DD in Anniston last month, which was a new one for me.

Xlucine #10 Posted Dec 15 2012 - 21:09

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76mm DD? How'd it fit - lots of vertical comfort?

Beausabre #11 Posted Jan 17 2019 - 12:35

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I think this may be of interest, the planned landing by units and vessel for the initial landings on Omaha in the 16th RCT sector H-5 to H+225 on D-Day. Notice that the DD tanks were supposed to land in Dog White and Green Sector at H-5 while the vehicles scheduled for Easy Green and Dog Red were to land from LCT's (which could carry a platoon of five M4's, as there were eight LCT's used it looks like only 2 vehicles were carried by each as the LCT borne force was only one company). LCT (Mk VI) #504 unloads M4's http://lctww2.com/images/tank_coming_off_amphibious_craft.png

Invasion Diagram https://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/Landing-Schedule-Diagram-Omaha-Beach-0



stalkervision #12 Posted Jan 20 2019 - 07:11

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Reading about D-day from the German perspective. German soldiers who manned the fortifications that day.




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