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Grenadiers Tank Destroyers


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BajaJames #21 Posted Feb 01 2015 - 18:08

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I've met a Ontos commander he's a good friend of my uncle man the stories he had in that thing. Oh and what rank is an Ontos commander Lance Corporal.
Semper Fi

Bigcheese56 #22 Posted Feb 01 2015 - 19:02

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As always a good read. Your information got me to thinking of my early TV years and a series titled "Rat Patrol". Through TV magic the third bullet point under disadvantages was dis-proven. Your work is valuable to to those of us with one foot still in reality.

Bigcheese56



Dunfalach #23 Posted Feb 01 2015 - 20:16

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Others have mentioned the LRDG and SAS; it also loosely parallels the jeep platoons of the US cavalry recon units in WW2. 

Haunt8dTank #24 Posted Feb 01 2015 - 23:42

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I believe that the Bazooka and the rifle grenade had the exact same warhead. The advantage of the bazooka was its flater trajectory and higher velosity making it much more accurate. The rifle grenade would more likely hit the thinner top armor....if it hit at all.

Shatara422 #25 Posted Feb 01 2015 - 23:43

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Quote

26. The weight of one machine gun grenade is· 2 ¾ pounds as compared with 37 pounds for the 3” gun.
Is this guy proposing rifle grenades for the M2, or does he just have no idea what he's talking about?

 

The 'kill car' reminds me of the 'Experimental Dodge' from Men of War's rail shooter level, right down to the shape of the gun pedestal. That game also had an armored Jeep with a pair of Bazookas.



stalkervision #26 Posted Feb 02 2015 - 04:17

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View PostHaunt8dTank, on Feb 01 2015 - 17:42, said:

I believe that the Bazooka and the rifle grenade had the exact same warhead. The advantage of the bazooka was its flater trajectory and higher velosity making it much more accurate. The rifle grenade would more likely hit the thinner top armor....if it hit at all.

 

  Nope, I believe the bazooka warhead is bigger by a small margin. You can look it up if you like and see.

Xime #27 Posted Feb 02 2015 - 06:17

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From watching videos of the rifle grenade being fired and the operator's stance makes me suspect the rifle grenade was horribly inaccurate, hitting a tank particularly a moving tank would be just plain lucky.  It seems to have been mostly used as a cheap, short ranged mortar to provide some form of suppressive fire.

Sad_But_Drew #28 Posted Feb 02 2015 - 07:16

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The Bazooka was the winner of a contest to find a way to launch the M-10 grenade (which was bigger than the standard rifle-grenade. In fact, too much so to be effectively launched from a rifle).

 

Frankly, the thinking takes a beating for ingenuity, but the development of the bazooka made a lot of this rather pointless (since an infantry company would have a substantial close-in AT defense by default).  It also betrays a "special force for specific counter-purpose" reaction rather than just beefing up the basic infantry division (which in the end was more effective).

 

Frankly some of the TD corps' ideas seem to tie in with the more defensive missions covered by armored cavalry (though more purely defensive/reactive), was their any overlap in setting their doctrine?



ryan345 #29 Posted Feb 02 2015 - 17:03

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View Poststalkervision, on Feb 01 2015 - 03:06, said:

This is what he really ment....

 

omg that sucky thing is on tanktastic for the tablet, 90 sec reload! with 6 100dmg shots! :(

A_Hornblower #30 Posted Feb 03 2015 - 04:11

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View Postryan345, on Feb 02 2015 - 08:03, said:

 

omg that sucky thing is on tanktastic for the tablet, 90 sec reload! with 6 100dmg shots! :(

 

106mm HEAT or HESH might do a bit more than 100dmg, just saying. And that's just using US types of ammo, never mind the enhanced-penetration HEAT rounds developed by other countries for the gun (106mm M40).

SGTChucklez #31 Posted Feb 04 2015 - 19:03

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View PostThe_Chieftain, on Jan 28 2015 - 15:13, said:

 

 

The sheer hilarity of this thing makes me want it in World of Tanks.



A_Hornblower #32 Posted Feb 05 2015 - 07:47

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View PostSGTChucklez, on Feb 04 2015 - 10:03, said:

 

The sheer hilarity of this thing makes me want it in World of Tanks.

 

Eh, seems only marginally crazier than the UE 57, UC 2pdr, or (if OTR is correct) the M56 Scorpion.
I'm for it. Tier 3 TD with great speed but no (literally no, like 4-5mm) armor, anyone?

ArmorPiercingCapped #33 Posted Feb 06 2015 - 00:32

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From Steeds of Steel:

 

At one minute after midnight on 9 September 1943, riflemen of the 141st and 142d Infantry regiments, 36th Infantry Division, began descending from troop transports into waiting landing craft off the Italian coast in Salerno Bay. There was no naval bombardment under way—an attempt to achieve surprise. The Germans recovered quickly if they were surprised and laid down a murderous fire after the first soldiers had reached land. With the coming of light, four groups of tanks from the 16th Panzer Division counterattacked the tenuous beachhead.[i]

The 36th Infantry Division had split its reconnaissance troop into four “flying columns,” which were to land in the fourth wave and then rush inland to reconnoiter the terrain. Each column had three jeeps, each with a machine gun and an “extra”—one with a bazooka, one with an 81mm mortar, and one with a mine-detector and a demolition kit. Each column also had an amphibious jeep with a long-range AM radio and an M6 weapons carrier with a 37mm gun. The remainder of the troop was to land later and was outfitted with jeeps, 3/4-ton trucks, two halftracks, and a 2-1/2-ton truck.

No tanks or tank destroyers had been committed to the assault wave, and by the time the flying columns hit the beach, German armor was already pushing back, and the cavalrymen suddenly became a key piece in a very tenuous antitank defense of the infant beachhead. An unidentified member of Flying Column 1 related, “During the approach to the beach, the craft and beaches were under heavy artillery and small-arms fire. The two boats that carried [us] hit the beach at 0510 hours. . . . We deployed our vehicles and took cover, because the beach was being heavily shelled at the time. We were on Blue Beach about an hour. During this time, a German Mark IV tank moved into position about 800 yards to our right flank and laid a heavy concentration of [cannon] and machine-gun fire on us and the advancing infantry. Two of our men. . . jumped to their 37mm gun and took the tank under fire, knowing all the time that they could not penetrate the tank armor at that range. The two boys did, however, drive the tank away.”

Flying Column 2 got as far as the ridge behind the beach before seven Mark IV tanks opened up on it with machine guns. The outfit’s report stated, “Sergeant [James] Bunch, Pvt. [Elmer] White, Pvt. [Billy] Gibson, and Sgt. [Stanley] Patton manned the .50-cal and managed to knock the track off a Mark IV. Meanwhile, Corporal [Clyde] Kitchens and Pvt. [Robert] Reaney left with a rocket launcher and a rifle-grenade launcher. Corporal Kitchens’ shot missed, but Private Reaney’s grenade struck fairly only to break into three pieces instead of exploding. The six remaining tanks withdrew. . . while we finished off the crew from the seventh.”

 

[i] Fifth Army History.

 

 



CrunchyCruncher #34 Posted Feb 08 2015 - 21:43

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Interestingly, this ends up being almost exactly the weapons load-out and concept of operations that the USMC's 1st Recon battalion is depicted as having/using in 'Generation Kill'. 

 

They were running unarmored Humvee's with a mix of .50 cal and Mk19 40mm grenade launchers in the turrets, and then M4's, some with Mk203 40mm grenade launchers, as individual weapons for the other 3-4 members of each Humvee crew. 

 

There's a lot of situations for which an aggressive team in smaller trucks with Ma Deuce and Mk19's might be very handy. 

 

Of course, there's also a lot of situations where they'll very quickly find themselves hanging in the breeze - that 'light cavalry' role isn't meant to stand and fight heavier forces. 



blurr91 #35 Posted Feb 12 2015 - 00:12

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It seems awfully complicated to organize another type of unit with a sort of intermediate mission profile than the existing heavy armor and lighter infantry forces.  Wouldn't it be better to just outfit the standard infantry battalion with more firepower and/or decrease headcount?

ArcherII #36 Posted Mar 09 2015 - 21:51

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View Postblurr91, on Feb 11 2015 - 18:12, said:

It seems awfully complicated to organize another type of unit with a sort of intermediate mission profile than the existing heavy armor and lighter infantry forces.  Wouldn't it be better to just outfit the standard infantry battalion with more firepower and/or decrease headcount?

 

But of course...which is more or less what we ended up doing.  A very astute observation on your part.

 

However the basic problem of how light infantry can deal with tanks still exists.  In my time in Airborne Infantry, each battalion was equipped with a Combat Support Company, or CSC, which had 1/4 ton's mounting TOW II's (later HMMWV's) along with a mortar platoon and other assorted nastiness.  Each Company also had M47 Dragon gunners (a loathsome weapon in my opinion which the Army finally managed to get rid of).  This organizational structure has certainly changed, but I'm not sure it has every corrected the persistent issues of dealing with mechanized infantry or armor while afoot.  We didn't like the TOW vehicles then...they simply were not survivable.  You survive in light infantry by digging into the earth and hiding, or by getting into something with armor.  The TOW vehicles could do neither.

 

Although I've been retired for some 10 years now, I do not think the Army has ever adequately solved this problem.  I'm sure the Stryker's help to an extent, but notice how much extra crap is being bolted onto them to make them survivable?  And this is fighting insurgencies...not even in a mechanized environment....



Frostopper #37 Posted Mar 21 2015 - 19:53

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Oddly enough, the US Marines in the Pacific at some point decided to augment their M3 half-track Tank-Destroyers with bazookas and rifle grenades up until 1944.

 

http://www.ww2gyrene.org/weapons_GMC_75mm.html

 

May need to double-check, but the presence of TO&E suggests such were used and organized in manner similar to that suggested in the OP's story.


 

The primary reason why the M3 continued to be used instead of better weapons, was largely logistics of fitting the contraptions aboard whatever amphibious assault equipment they had in the Pacific in the grim year of 1943.

-Also, many of the mounted/demountable crew-served weapons were meant to be emplaced 'somehow' when manning a static defense. Whether this was to allow the gun-transporter to go back and fetch more ammunition or the entire machine dug-in would have likely been a matter of discussion amongst the platoon commanders.


 

-The centralization of forces was often a reaction to realizing they didn't have enough Tank/AntiTank-forces to dole-out to the common grunts

Efforts to make these units more mobile at all costs was a side-effect of placing these forces in the benchwarmer-battalions.


 

57mm and 75mm Recoilless guns were regarded as 'better' than bazookas largely because of their greater accuracy and range (500 meters vs 100 meters) than even a 3.5-inch bazooka (300 meters). Making them better at hitting rather precise targets like open firing-slits of bunkers with such ammunition as WP.

-The 57mm managed to end-up being triple-mounted on the ma-deuce/81mm mortar combi-guns of Vietnam's rivine-war.


 

ofc, sometimes they even snuck HYDRA-70 pods onto those things. Also: they could all use flechette-rounds.

 

 

 


Edited by Frostopper, Mar 21 2015 - 20:32.


Windhover118 #38 Posted Jan 21 2018 - 03:46

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A few years too late but I was reading through some of the old Chieftans hatch articles and this one caught my attention. The idea proposed is a very interesting one. Essentially a motorized/mechanized infantry force whose job it is to hunt tanks. While trying to swarm enemy tanks with trucks equipped with AT guns sounds nearly suicidal to me, the idea of having infantry specially trained in AT warfare and tactics sounds entirely reasonable. But I don't see any reason to have an entire tank destroyer battalion equipped as such. The entire concept of the Grenadiers is to provide additional AT capabilities to other branches besides the TD force. Seems like it would be more efficient to just equip those other branches with more specialized AT capability. Instead of an entire battalion, have squad and platoon sized elements of soldiers at the company and battalion level's who are specially trained in AT tactics. 




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