Allied soldiers using enemy anti-tank guns.

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by starling, Jun 12, 2012.

  1. starling

    starling Member

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    Hello all,Did Allied soldiers use or "liberate"Axis Anti-tank guns in north west Europe.? Any information or photos gratefully appreciated.thanks in advance,Starling.
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    They'd have to "liberate" enough ammunition to make them useable unless you are referring to one shot type weapons.
    Steve
     
  3. Denniss

    Denniss Active Member

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    Captured 88 Flak should have been used by allied troops, most probably in the anti-tank role. All sides used captured guns they felt they would be of use and if they captured enough ammo for them.
     
  4. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    There are two different issues.

    Soldiers in combat didn't hesitate to use captured weapons if they came with a supply of ammunition. The weapon was abandoned when it broke down or ammunition ran out.

    Germany captured so many weapons that they were turned in for inspection, modification and issue to new units. Arrangements were made to supply these weapons with ammunition and spare parts through normal supply channels. Sometimes that involved rechambering the weapon. Other times the Heer had ammunition manufactured to original (i.e. foreign) specifications.

    The Soviet Union used captured weapons also.
     
  5. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    TO the original question, I would guess that the allies did not "adopt" any German AT guns in north west Europe like they did in the Dessert ( went as far as printing up operating manuals for one Italian gun I believe). However there is really no telling what some enterprising platoon or company may have turned around and banged away all available ammunition.
    I believe I have seen picture/s of the German 88 manned by US or allied troops firing as a general artillery piece. Bombardment or harassing fire, not AT work. The Allies in NWE had no shortage of AT guns to fill out establishments and "extra" weapons need not only crews but towing vehicles if they were to be kept for very long.
     
  6. starling

    starling Member

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    Hi guys,Yes the Germans captured large amounts of 3.7in A.A.guns,after Dunkirk I seem to recall reading.They were used against their former"owners",in the walcharten attack,I'm not sure if they were used in the direct fire,or just in their normal A.A.role.
     
  7. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    I have read about the US 83rd Infantry Division as Rag Tag Circus.

    From what I have read they had german- tanks even Tigers, many motor vehicles and motor-bikes and even a Me 109 with their own pilot.
    I wonder from were they had the technical staff to keep this circus running or had they some german technical stuff that worked for them?

    Or is this all a myth?
     
  8. starling

    starling Member

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    Hey guys,yes also.why were R.A.units trained on enemy guns,if not to use them.? Starling.
     
  9. starling

    starling Member

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    Hey guys,perhaps the U.S.83rd had a German American pilot,for the 109 eh? Starling.
     
  10. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Germans actually manufactured a batch of ammo for the British 3.7in AA guns. They were definitely used for AA work.

    The Americans had a big edge vs other nations when it came to using foreign equipment. The Americans had a much higher average ownership of cars, trucks, tractors, washing machines, farm machinery ( reapers, bailers, etc) than any other nation at the time and the average 18-20 year old recruit had more experience in "tinkering" with such things before they went in the army. This meant a higher percentage of "semi-experienced" mechanics per infantry unit than any other army.

    My own father had gone to an aviation school in California for a number months in 1940-41 and returned to Connecticut to work at Sikorsky and Chance-Vaught for several years. He worked assembling Corsairs, when he went in the Marine Corp they made him a signalman.
     
  11. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    #11 DonL, Jun 13, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2012
    @ shortround6

    I agree with you about the "semi-experienced" mechanics per infantry unit than any other army for US Army and to me it explain everything from a motor bike to normal motor vehicles etc, that should not be the problem.
    Also I think the small Maybach of the Panzer IV series, it could be handle, but a HL 230 of the Tiger and a DB 605 for the Me are other "beasts" , which is very difficult to handle with semi mechanics knowledge and experience.

    Anyway I have much respect if they have managed to keep all this engines running for a bigger timeline on their own.
     
  12. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    Hi, DonL,
    Was really the Tiger's Maybach turbo-charged?
     
  13. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    @ tomo pauk

    sorry you are right, it wasn't turbo charged!

    This happenes when you are playing too much "world of tanks" with fiction prototype engines.
     
  14. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    A bit off topic, but at Tobruk the 9th aus div used large amounts of captured artillery, of all types to augment their rather meagre artillery park. there were basically two regular field artillery units supporting the australian infantry formations......a regiment of RHA gunners (the 104th) and the 2/12 field regiment.

    Augmenting this force as front line open sights guns were the guns of the "Bush artillery" . This force was the equivalent of about two additional regiments and numbered about 140 guns. There were all manner of guns employed. both the regular artillery formations also used large numbers of capatured guns.

    I know that the 104th used about 20 149mm italian guns.

    The bush artillery guns were used as direct fire weapons because the italians either never had, or failed to abandon proper sighting and ranging equipment for many guns

    photographs that i have show the following

    149mm with the 104th
    75mm with the 2/17 Inf bn
    65/17 guns with the 1/17 bn
    20mm breda AA gun with the 3rd AA regt
    Harbour Defence detachment using italian 6.5mm MG and breda medium MGs
    Australian AT gunners using 47mm bohler ATGs

    These are not the only units that used captured equipment, but they are the only ones that I have photographic evidence

    multiple 37mm Italian AA guns mounted on several destroyers of the 'scrap iron Flotilla. these ships also mounted a number of captured 20mm italian guns for some months

    The majority of these guns were captured in April 1941, they were critical breaking up the german assaults in April and May. So much ammunition was captured that they remained in use right until the end, when the 9th was relieved in november. I believe the South Africans coniued to use them until the fortress fell in June 1942.

    So, for the CW, it can be argued that the equivalent of one division, at least, for an extended period, used captured guns in just about every role

    Large numbers of captured italian tanks were also put to use by the garrison

    In normandy, i dont have a lot of information, but i have seen a photo of british troops using a hotchkiss MG in the fighting around Caen
     
  15. starling

    starling Member

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    @parsifal,I did not know that the Italians manufactured 149mm guns.? Do you mean 149 20mm guns.Starling.
     
  16. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    149mm was standard calibre for itallian corps howitzer and armies gun.
     
  17. starling

    starling Member

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    Thanks very much Vincenzo,you live and learn eh.? Starling.
     
  18. tomo pauk

    tomo pauk Creator of Interesting Threads

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    No problems :)
     
  19. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    I saw a programme on the fighting in Italy and there were some UK troops firing a german 75mm anti tank gun. The gun was elevated so I doubt that they were using it against tanks but they were in action, it wasn't a test firing
     
  20. starling

    starling Member

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    I'm sure that R.A.troops were "trained" on enemy equipment ,but would it have been'only'AT gunners ',or all R.A.troops.? There must of been plenty of opportunities ,especially after a collapse like falaise.?Starling.
     
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