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  1. #1
    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    New read

    Just arrived from the UKicon going to be interesting looked at a couple of pages at the appendices where the author states if they had had the Pershing earlier (Nov 1944) the Ardennes may not have happened the way it did.

    He also stated that arrogance led to the slow way better tanks were forthcoming rather than what they focused on - M4 production.
    Lastly their 3 main adversaries the MkIV with the HV 75mm, Panther and the King Tiger with the HV 88mm with AP doing 3,250fps.
    Just 2 snippets about engagements - one instance a Panther fired and knocked out a Sherman through a brick wall, another fired through an already knocked out M4 to kill another a through and through shot.

    I am looking forward to reading it as some doco's I have seen they state engagements between the MkVI Tigers and the M4 were few and far between after the landing.
    Which is hard to believe given the numbers of M4's that were running around.
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    Contributing Member 30Three's Avatar
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    Looks like a very interesting book. I'll have to keep an eye outfor that one!

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  6. #3
    Contributing Member Ovidio's Avatar
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    Put it in my shopping cart.
    6.49 with soft cover. Readily available.
    Thanks for the suggestion.
    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3° rgt. Alpini

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Author stated in the first pages their battle loss & replacement of tanks and crews rate was 580% I know of no other service losses sustained by allied or axis who's attrition rate was that high even the Kreigesmarine U-Boat crew losses were only 90% in WWII.
    Author states they were led to believe prior to the landing that the M-4 even the M4A1 was equal to the Germanicon armour they found out pretty quickly about that, anyway thats it till I finish it I do not want to spoil it for others.

    About half way now,
    A snippet;

    If you thought the scene with the Sherman at the cross roads in "Fury" was Bull-Yang then I will advise you it isn't as it actually happened and is stated as such in this book as an actual event.
    Except it was only one crew member who held them off, laying, firing and serving the 75mm gun by himself. He was lobbing HE about 150 feet short so it bounced up about 3 feet high before exploding with devastating effect among the German infantry advancing on the Sherman till he had no HE 75mm left.
    Then the 30 cal MG's till they were exhausted, then the 50 cal till that ran dry, then a grease gun till that ran dry then the 1911 till that was empty.
    Finally plopping grenades out the top hatch when the Germans where on the deck then buttoning up again. Yessir by himself.
    The Germans by passed that tank leaving it and the occupant alone...........brave tanker or what.
    Last edited by CINDERS; 06-17-2018 at 12:14 PM.

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Well I finished the book and rate it a 10/10 it is written without embellishment but as it happened it has some very good information to which I am not going to go into great detail lest it spoils it for others but things I did learn;

    The M4 production was pushed forward ahead of another heavier tank design by a certain General of armoured warfare who got his way by force fullness of character costing the tankers great losses, in his division in one engagement they lost 48 Shermans in 26 minutes assaulting a position now you cannot deny the facts when the Lt was pretty much at the battle front and it was his job to audit what could be salvaged or scrapped then get the report back the same night so replacement tanks could be sent up or repaired.
    The Super M26A1E2 Pershing they had with the T15E1 90mm x 70 calibers HV gun 3,850 for the A.P round to which they added another 7 tons of armour of boiler plate spaced and some glacis plate off a Panther tank such was the feeling among them at the DP 88mm guns the Panther and the Mk VI Tiger that these tanks were a direct threat to the Pershing in a Head to Head.
    There is one instance a M26 firing at a Panther and hitting it on the front glacis 2 times at 100yds with the 90mm LV gun (2,750fps) and failure to penetrate the Panthers armour, in another section a convoy got in a bad position and was pretty grid locked when 7 King Tigers attacked them the M4's put up a good fight killing 3 of them but suffered accordingly as did the whole convoy.
    One M4 scurried into a building 180'ed the gun over the back of their tank the Tiger exposed its flank and got stove piped from the 76mm which went through a fuel tank and entered the crew compartment but did not have enough energy to get out the front so the 76mm AP projectile bounced around inside the King Tiger with the catastrophic effect on the crew, another enterprising commander knocked out another 2 with white phosphorous shells the crews baled fearing the fire and poisonous fumes entering the crew compartment.
    The losses got so great among the M4 crews that at times they only had 3 crew members a driver, gunner & commander the commander servicing the main gun other times crews with no training except firing the main gun 3 times.............

    And lastly the 1 in a million shot, They went to see an M4 that had 6 feet of its barrel missing at first they thought it was shot off by a fluke, they then saw a longitudinal split so they then thought an obstruction in the barrel finally it came about when they looked into the turret to see the completely mangled remains of 2 crew members;
    A Panther had fired its 75mm gun at the same time the M4 had fired the M4 gun recoiled the breech dropped and the spent case was ejected and the breech remained open whilst the breech was open the 75mm round entered directly into the 76mm barrel of the M4 exploding inside it sending the fuse etc into the turret space of the M4 where it bounced around shedding the occupants.

    Some funny stuff in the book like sleeping with a UXB, portrayal of the devastation war has on people and cities, how they had to kill an 8 y/o Hitler youth as he fired a panzerfaust knocking out an M4 the tank commander shot him dead, the death of Lt Gen Rose which had a profound affect on the division, moving 3 million gallons of petrol in 5 gallon cans in 24hours to stop the Germans getting it at the start of the Battle of the Bulge (Hitlers Ardennes offensive)

    Their combat losses for the Division ~ Of 185 M5 Light Tanks more than 100% lost (They had the M24 but it was still to light for frontal assaults), of a total of 232 medium tanks (including 10 M26 Pershings) 648 were totally destroyed in combat and 1,100 needed repairs of this figure approximately 700 had been knocked out in battle. This meant we lost 1,350 medium tanks in battle a total loss rate of 580% its obvious why we ran out of trained crews.

    A great read and well worth adding to ones shelves I will take it away with me to read again next week.
    Last edited by CINDERS; 06-25-2018 at 03:10 AM.

  10. #6
    Contributing Member Ovidio's Avatar
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    I just came back from South Africa.
    I found quite some interesting books there, but due to small luggage only bought one.
    The others will be ordered online.
    It is about the war between SA and Cuba/Angolan Fapla.
    It first was published as “The War For Africa“ in 1990. This is a revised edition with lots of additions concerning the Unita leaders, who proved to be terrible criminals.
    Very interesting!
    Now I’ll read yours.

    Last edited by Ovidio; 06-25-2018 at 05:36 PM. Reason: Typo
    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3° rgt. Alpini

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    Senior Member matthanne1's Avatar
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    3rd Armored- Spearhead. My division when we went to the Gulf in 90-91 for DS2, we closed the unit down over there too, after we got back to Germanyicon.
    Years later I would meet some WW2 Spearhead soldiers and gave them tours of T72s, BMPs, foreign arms, etc. They got a kick out of my 3AD SSI, all I could say was it was a shorter war!

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  14. #8
    Contributing Member Ovidio's Avatar
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    I’ve finally received the book “Death Traps”. Very interesting is the footage about the tank fight close to the Dome Square in Cologne.
    There is the video footage of that fight somewhere on youtube. I saw it a couple years ago.
    You can see the two survivors of the Panther scrambling out of the tank.
    Extremely interesting video.
    Also very interesting to me is that I frequently am in Cologne, now I always look at where the battle took place.

    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3° rgt. Alpini

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