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NATO Survey, 1943 Pt 2


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Midnight_Fox #21 Posted Jan 12 2015 - 04:06

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View PostDonward, on Jan 11 2015 - 17:41, said:

Question? Those remarks by Patton were when and where? 1942 in North Africa?

 

It would stand to reason; back in the states he would not have experienced the war yet and any time after Tunisia or Sicily would have been too late.

1SLUGGO1 #22 Posted Jan 12 2015 - 05:34

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View PostMidnight_Fox, on Jan 11 2015 - 22:03, said:

 

This goes back to the American Revolution, Where Gen. Washington wanted his men to be distinguished in superior moral character that what the British Army was like. Back then you fought better sober and to a certain point, our armies behaved better. In several war moves of the WW2 genre there seemed to be an anal retentive restriction of alcohol in naval units and in one ingenious Bob Hope movie, The Private Navy of Sergeant O'Farrell, it was focused on his unit salvaging a sunken load of beer in a rear area with some real consequences of overindulging without anal retentive officers getting in the way of the fun.

That it's beer and not rum is besides the point. The point is that wed had the only "dry" combat units on the front line compared to other combatant armies. General Patton's statement was probably a personal preference in how the British army handled the situation irrespective of the historical beginnings of a dry military on the front lines. Would you want drunks in combat? Being drunk playing computer pixel tanks is nothing compared to fighting drunk in real tanks in real combat: after the battle the need for a stiff one or two is understood but that would be splitting hairs.

 

you cant get drunk on the size of ration they would have been getting...

nekojima #23 Posted Jan 12 2015 - 07:36

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Would be interesting to know if the use of ground penetrating radar to find landmines is a result of advances in archaeology (and other civilian field applications) in the last two decades, was a military research application used for civilian purposes, or a joint civilian/military project.

 



the_moidart #24 Posted Jan 12 2015 - 08:33

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Patton and his cleanliness obsession. No wonder he personally called Mauldin to come see him so he could yell at him for his cartoons depicting the tired, dirty, but still self respecting and fighting Italian campaign troops.

The_Chieftain #25 Posted Jan 12 2015 - 09:49

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View PostMidnight_Fox, on Jan 12 2015 - 03:03, said:

 

This goes back to the American Revolution, Where Gen. Washington wanted his men to be distinguished in superior moral character that what the British Army was like. Back then you fought better sober and to a certain point, our armies behaved better. In several war moves of the WW2 genre there seemed to be an anal retentive restriction of alcohol in naval units and in one ingenious Bob Hope movie, The Private Navy of Sergeant O'Farrell, it was focused on his unit salvaging a sunken load of beer in a rear area with some real consequences of overindulging without anal retentive officers getting in the way of the fun.

That it's beer and not rum is besides the point. The point is that wed had the only "dry" combat units on the front line compared to other combatant armies. General Patton's statement was probably a personal preference in how the British army handled the situation irrespective of the historical beginnings of a dry military on the front lines. Would you want drunks in combat? Being drunk playing computer pixel tanks is nothing compared to fighting drunk in real tanks in real combat: after the battle the need for a stiff one or two is understood but that would be splitting hairs.

 

I'm not quite sure where you're going with this. Even today, the US Army is one of the few non-muslim militaries which prohibits alcohol consumption on deployment. The ability to have a pint or two over a year has not cause the British, French etc any particular problems of competence and professionalism. Heck, I couldn't have a drink for two weeks in Fort Dix, New Jersey while on a 'gentleman's course', as a field grade officer. I personally consider it to be a total lack of confidence being displayed by leadership to the troops.



Arlon_Magistar #26 Posted Jan 12 2015 - 10:20

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Jan 12 2015 - 03:49, said:

 

I'm not quite sure where you're going with this. Even today, the US Army is one of the few non-muslim militaries which prohibits alcohol consumption on deployment. The ability to have a pint or two over a year has not cause the British, French etc any particular problems of competence and professionalism. Heck, I couldn't have a drink for two weeks in Fort Dix, New Jersey while on a 'gentleman's course', as a field grade officer. I personally consider it to be a total lack of confidence being displayed by leadership to the troops.

 

I think it may in fact be a lack of confidence: the powers that be are perhaps concerned that the troops would overindulge, or maybe that they would take to fighting over the alcohol when their own rations ran out. Or both. From what I saw as an enlisted soldier between 1987 and 1997, those concerns may have some validity to them. While I highly doubt that the majority of American soldiers would suffer from those issues, there would be some in many units that would. Even one man in each platoon suffering from alcohol overindulgence could be a potential hazard (worst case, there: I very highly doubt the numbers affected would be that high.) It would seem that the high command was, and is, more concerned about what a relatively small minority of troops are likely to do, and how that could affect morale and general efficiency. Thoughts...?

_SirFury_ #27 Posted Jan 12 2015 - 14:53

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View PostBlackFire35, on Jan 11 2015 - 15:34, said:

Which gun was shooting those AT-HE rounds?

 

That would be the FV215b (183) before nerf.   (joking*)

Blackhorse_Six_ #28 Posted Jan 12 2015 - 16:02

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View PostMidnight_Fox, on Jan 11 2015 - 22:03, said:

Would you want drunks in combat? Being drunk playing computer pixel tanks is nothing compared to fighting drunk in real tanks in real combat: after the battle the need for a stiff one or two is understood but that would be splitting hairs.

 

As a veteran of many a Happy Hour at the various post clubs, I can tell you that while it would be difficult to task a drunk and rely upon the accomplishment of that task in combat or in a combat area, that difficulty may be much preferable to having an active, low-functioning drunk in a position in-the-field to conduct, manage or administrate the necessary planning and logistics to conduct or support combat operations.

 

'Twas a sad day when Happy Hour ended, but in the long run, it was better for the image and function of the US Army. If just one man in each of one-hundred tank platoons were tolerated to be routinely drunk on-the-job, the total number of drunks, if organized into their own unit, would represent  the greater fighting strength of almost two tank companies - nearly half of a US tank battalion. I've had on-the-job low-functioning drunks in some of my units, but all together they actually comprised a tiny group - and most of those individuals were separated or referred to treatment.

 

I'm not sure that drunkenness in a combat zone was ever as big an impediment to clear-thinking and motivation as hard narcotics and psycho-affective drugs were.

 

On the other hand, measured application of liquid courage is nothing new or entirely undesirable. As long as it stays out of sight and under the radar with most individuals, it is not usually a problem.

 

IIRC, improvement of the Royal Navy's professional image was the public face of that decision, but I recall vaguely that one of the driving factors behind the discontinuance of the rum ration was it's expense in funds and storage space - both better utilized for other needs in-depot and aboard ship.



Blackhorse_Six_ #29 Posted Jan 12 2015 - 19:11

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Jan 12 2015 - 03:49, said:

Heck, I couldn't have a drink for two weeks in Fort Dix, New Jersey while on a 'gentleman's course' as a field grade officer. I personally consider it to be a total lack of confidence being displayed by leadership to the troops.

 

Same sentiment with the end of Happy Hour - which at the time, didn't end entirely, but Happy Hour drink-pricing, and lunch-time beers, did.

 

After-work consumption was not yet off-limits, but it seemed to be the next logical step.

 

IIRC, hours of operation at the Class VI store were also affected.

 

Every commander of something adds his own layer of crap ...



Boggins #30 Posted Jan 12 2015 - 23:28

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I find the preference for the M4A2 diesel engine tanks interesting......

Gnoman #31 Posted Jan 13 2015 - 01:08

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View Post1SLUGGO1, on Jan 12 2015 - 04:34, said:

 

you cant get drunk on the size of ration they would have been getting...

 

A historical problem in the Royal Navy (at least in the Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars) was sailors saving their morning grog ration until the evening ration was issued, and trading for another salior's ration(s), which was enough, in the words of a contemporary chronicler, "enough for even the lowliest seaman to fancy himself an admiral." There is considerable evidence to suggest that a similar practice with the wine ration was responsible for the loss of two French first-rates not long after they entered the war on the side of the United Colonies. 

 

Of course, it is likely that an alcohol ration during WWII would have prevented practices such as draining the alcohol fuel from a submarine's torpedos, which not only resulted in a number of serious poisoning incidents (due to the additives in the fuel that the men in question didn't properly filter out), but also reduced the combat capability of the unit.



Blackhorse_Six_ #32 Posted Jan 13 2015 - 01:20

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Torpedo Juice ...

 

I'd forgotten about that ...

 

(+1)



NutrientibusMeaGallus #33 Posted Jan 13 2015 - 02:06

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"9. Officers must wear the insignia of their ranks on their helmets. Enlisted men should wear nothing. Hence, any mark on a helmet indicates an officer."

 

DOH!    Identifying officers to the enemy that easily.... NEVER EVER EVER (did I say ever?) a good idea.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        



generalbunbun #34 Posted Jan 13 2015 - 12:03

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Chief,

Great article!  It is fascinating to see what was on our commanders' minds in North Africa.


 

If I may expound on your statement about towed guns:


 

"It is a shame that the rationale behind the tanks towing AT guns was not further explained. Especially given that the majority of the ammunition loads was suggested to be HE: What would they want to do that a regular tank gun could not?"


 

We have to remember that at the beginning of the war, anti-tank doctrine did not include tanks.  If you look at FM 17-10, Armored Force Field Manual: Tactics and Technique, tanks were not supposed to battle enemy tanks directly.  They were supposed to create and exploit a gap in the enemy line and attack the rear, just like the German Panzer divisions did to the Allies.  Tank destroyer battalions and fixed artillery were supposed to engage enemy tanks.  This of course was all theory as no one in the U.S. Army had not had any actual armor experience since The Great War. 


 

We also have to consider the fact that General Lesley McNair, who was a career artillery officer, believed that artillery not armor was the most effective way of engaged enemy armor.  Also considering that the U.S. Army was heavily influenced by Jomini, an overly complicated doctrine was (and still is) commonplace.  This meant that, in theory, as American tanks engaged the enemy infantry positions, the fixed artillery and tank destroyer battalions would target and destroy the enemy tanks.  Again, it was a theory.


 

Finally, we also must look at the tanks that were being used in North Africa.  The plain Jane M4 did not have a high velocity gun, on purpose, as per Armored Doctrine.  Again, no need for a high velocity gun as American tanks were not supposed to engage enemy tanks.  American tanks were meant to blow up bunkers and enemy infantry.  The other issue was the turret.  They could not get a gun much bigger than the 75mm in the M4 at the time. 


 

Hence, towing a high velocity cannon behind a tank seemed like a logical idea considering the doctrine, artillery influence of McNair, and the inability to mount a larger gun in the M4s. 

All things considered, the Army had to learn how to fight on the fly.  The Interwar Years left the military in shambles, and all things considered, they did a pretty good job.  Personally, I am glad to know that our commanding officers were willing to learn, adapt, and improvise to win.  This article is a great example of that.

 


 

As a good grad student, I of course must cite my sources :) otherwise my professors are going to freak!


 

1.  Armored Force Field Manual: Tactics and Technique FM 17-10, Washington: United States     Government Printing Office, 1942.

2.  Hofmann, George, Through Mobility We Conquer: The Mechanization of U.S. Cavalry,

     Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2006.

3.  Zaloga, Steven, The Armored Thunderbolt: The U.S. Army Sherman in World War II

     Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2008.

 

 



Boggins #35 Posted Jan 13 2015 - 12:46

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View Postgeneralbunbun, on Jan 13 2015 - 11:03, said:

Chief,

Great article!  It is fascinating to see what was on our commanders' minds in North Africa.


 

If I may expound on your statement about towed guns:


 

"It is a shame that the rationale behind the tanks towing AT guns was not further explained. Especially given that the majority of the ammunition loads was suggested to be HE: What would they want to do that a regular tank gun could not?"


 

We have to remember that at the beginning of the war, anti-tank doctrine did not include tanks.  If you look at FM 17-10, Armored Force Field Manual: Tactics and Technique, tanks were not supposed to battle enemy tanks directly.  They were supposed to create and exploit a gap in the enemy line and attack the rear, just like the German Panzer divisions did to the Allies.  Tank destroyer battalions and fixed artillery were supposed to engage enemy tanks.  This of course was all theory as no one in the U.S. Army had not had any actual armor experience since The Great War. 


 

We also have to consider the fact that General Lesley McNair, who was a career artillery officer, believed that artillery not armor was the most effective way of engaged enemy armor.  Also considering that the U.S. Army was heavily influenced by Jomini, an overly complicated doctrine was (and still is) commonplace.  This meant that, in theory, as American tanks engaged the enemy infantry positions, the fixed artillery and tank destroyer battalions would target and destroy the enemy tanks.  Again, it was a theory.


 

Finally, we also must look at the tanks that were being used in North Africa.  The plain Jane M4 did not have a high velocity gun, on purpose, as per Armored Doctrine.  Again, no need for a high velocity gun as American tanks were not supposed to engage enemy tanks.  American tanks were meant to blow up bunkers and enemy infantry.  The other issue was the turret.  They could not get a gun much bigger than the 75mm in the M4 at the time. 


 

Hence, towing a high velocity cannon behind a tank seemed like a logical idea considering the doctrine, artillery influence of McNair, and the inability to mount a larger gun in the M4s. 

All things considered, the Army had to learn how to fight on the fly.  The Interwar Years left the military in shambles, and all things considered, they did a pretty good job.  Personally, I am glad to know that our commanding officers were willing to learn, adapt, and improvise to win.  This article is a great example of that.

 


 

As a good grad student, I of course must cite my sources :) otherwise my professors are going to freak!


 

1.  Armored Force Field Manual: Tactics and Technique FM 17-10, Washington: United States     Government Printing Office, 1942.

2.  Hofmann, George, Through Mobility We Conquer: The Mechanization of U.S. Cavalry,

     Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2006.

3.  Zaloga, Steven, The Armored Thunderbolt: The U.S. Army Sherman in World War II

     Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2008.

 

 

 

Thankyou for proper citing! I have been looking for some material to read. As a fellow holder of a higher degree, I take uncited material as questionably informed opinion mainly.

nublex #36 Posted Jan 13 2015 - 15:09

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25pdr AT gun with muzzle velocity of 2000f/s! when are we going to get that?

generalbunbun #37 Posted Jan 14 2015 - 06:13

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View PostBoggins, on Jan 13 2015 - 11:46, said:

 

Thankyou for proper citing! I have been looking for some material to read. As a fellow holder of a higher degree, I take uncited material as questionably informed opinion mainly.

 

 

Thanks for the kind word!  It's good to know that those with graduate degrees can play tanks, too.  :)A college student I'm mentoring was writing a paper on AFVs.  His source was the WoT tank wiki.  Yikes.  If you're looking for some good material, Zaloga is always a great choice.  McCaskey (sp) is also a good source for armored information, too.  I really like Christopher Chant's Encyclopedia of the Tank.  Personally, I like reading the old field manuals.  Those can be very telling of what our troops dealt with on a daily basis.  They can also be a bit humorous, too.  I did my WWII research paper on Adna Chaffee Jr.  That was where I found most of this information out.  It's really fascinating stuff!


Edited by generalbunbun, Jan 14 2015 - 06:14.


The_Chieftain #38 Posted Jan 14 2015 - 19:07

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View Postgeneralbunbun, on Jan 13 2015 - 11:03, said:

Chief,

Great article!  It is fascinating to see what was on our commanders' minds in North Africa.


 

If I may expound on your statement about towed guns:


 

 

I'm afraid I'm going to disagree with you on your statements.

 

Armored Force doctrine was not so ignorant as to think that they could break through and conduct an exploitation without considering the possibility that the enemy might happen to have a tank or two along. Note that FM 18-5, the TD manual, is purely defensive (at least as regards enemy armor), while the Armored Force Manual FM 17-10, states for example, on page 90 that the role of the medium tank (i.e. M3 and M4) includes dealing with hostile armor when on the offence. Further, the Armored Force FM only prohibits attacking equal or stronger enemy armored forces, which, in fairness, is pretty fundamental and would apply to any branch. Note also that the later FM 18-5 (1944) states that an armored division is capable of dealing with an enemy armored unit on its own, and the TD battalion might not be called up to action, though it is not recommended.

 

The reason the M4 had a "plane jane 75mm" was primarly because it took years to figure out how to correctly implement the 76mm in the tank, and the field commanders had no indication that they needed the ones which were available in the UK for D-Day. There was no doctrinal resistance in Armored Force to the concept of a bigger gun, and the US Army had changed to 76mm production in 1943. See http://worldoftanks....h-end_of_75_M4/ and http://forum.worldof...-armour-part-1/ and , http://worldoftanks....n-armor-part-2/



Sad_But_Drew #39 Posted Jan 14 2015 - 19:36

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View PostNutrientibusMeaGallus, on Jan 12 2015 - 20:06, said:

"9. Officers must wear the insignia of their ranks on their helmets. Enlisted men should wear nothing. Hence, any mark on a helmet indicates an officer."

 

DOH!    Identifying officers to the enemy that easily.... NEVER EVER EVER (did I say ever?) a good idea.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

 

Problem is, that's a 101st airborne helmet.  They ALL had that (suit indicates regiment, not rank).

Boggins #40 Posted Jan 14 2015 - 23:22

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I saw an interview with Dr. Ronald Barr concerning the diesel engine in the M4. He stated that the decision not to produce more diesel shermans was based on the logistics of providing adequate fuel supplies for the tanks. It just made more practical sense to go with the gas engine for the Normandy invasion since there were more tanks already equipped with that engine rather than providing 2 dissimilar fuel types. 




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