Allied Tank Aces

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by Vassili Zaitzev, May 11, 2009.

  1. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,099
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Substitute teacher; graduate student
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States
    From the Best Tank Commander thread by Lucky, there was talk of allied tank aces. Well, I was looking at the wiki page on the Sherman Firefly, when I came across this tidbit of info:

    Here's another website I found going further into detail.
    The Panzers and the Battle of Normandy (2)

    Apparentely, all the aces I found, who at least scored five tank kills, were using the Sherman Firefly. As for allied tank aces on the Russian front, unfortunately I haven't found anything yet.
     
  2. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,857
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Texas
    Nice info! It would also be interesting to know about any Marine tank aces. The Japanese used armor a bit.
     
  3. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,099
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Substitute teacher; graduate student
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States
    Thanks. From what I read about Japanese tanks, they were outmatched by the Shermans.
     
  4. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2008
    Messages:
    15,205
    Likes Received:
    2,042
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Public Safety Automotive Technician
    Location:
    Redding, California
    Home Page:
    The Japanese didn't really have anything in the way of heavy armor, but relied more on light medium types that the Sherman could easily handle.

    Not sure why, and I don't recall reading anything regarding thier philosophy on armored warfare.
     
  5. Ferdinand Foch

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    816
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Occupation:
    College Student, sometimes a stock clerk
    Location:
    Stafford Springs, Connecticut
    Grau, wasn't it that Japanese tanks were so lightly armored, that a .303 calibre bullet could penetrate it? Even heard that you could jam that turret by sticking a bayonet in it.
     
  6. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    IIRC US Army had at least one senior NCO tank commander who had ca. 100 AFV kills.

    Juha
     
  7. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,672
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    Video and multi-media communications expert
    Location:
    FL
    great info!

    I'd like to know if this is corroborated by German records.. All mention is of Panthers.. how about Tiger and King Tiger?

    Too bad the FireFly's gun was standard issue.
     
  8. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,441
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    MGR
    Location:
    Phila, Pa
    Only Marine tank battle I know about was on Peliliu. Japanese armor counterattacked Marie positions on the Airfield. Marine Shermans versus Japanese light tanks. Marines had to switch from AP to HE in the middle of the fight 'cause the rounds just went right through them.

    Also some Tank on Tank at Saipan but not large battle. Little here, little there.

    Brits tanks ran into them in Burma. Said the Japanese didn't seem to have any idea how to deal with tank on tank fighting. Japanese tanks tended to fight isolated actions or just stop wherever they were, acted confused.

    Perhaps Japanese troops were never taught a doctine for tank on tank.
     
  9. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    3,734
    Likes Received:
    65
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Helsinki
    Comiso
    one Firely most probably got a KingTiger on the first day of Goodwood, claimed a Panther where a KingTiger was knocked out by a AP hit.

    Juha
     
  10. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,099
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Substitute teacher; graduate student
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States
    Good info Tim. Comiso, I'm not sure, I'll look on the web for German tank losses on that date in Normandy.
     
  11. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    24,075
    Likes Received:
    655
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Korporate Kontrolleur
    Location:
    South Carolina
    From "Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles" by Robert Jackson

    Japanese Tanks:
    Type 89B had max armor of 17mm
    Type 95 HA- GO had max armor of 12mm
    Type 97 TE- KE had a max armor of 16mm
    Type 97 CHI- HA had a max armor of 25mm
    Type 1 CHI- HE had a max armor of 50mm


    M4 Sherman had 62mm.
    Panther had 80mm
    T34 had 65mm
    Churchill had 102mm

    If I recall, the Japanese tanks mainly supported infantry.
     
  12. BombTaxi

    BombTaxi Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
    Messages:
    1,907
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Barnsley, S. Yorks, UK
    On reporting of tank types in Normandy:

    I have read in various places that British tank crews often reported MkIVs as Panthers, Panthers as Tigers, and Tigers as King Tigers. Given the view (or lack thereof) out of a buttoned-up Sherman or Cromwell lurching around the battlefield trying to avoid being brewed-up, such mis-claiming is understandable. I would imagine all sides had difficulty positively identifying enemy tanks in combat - the problem also beset naval forces, and even aircrews to a certain extent.

    On Japanese armour:

    My understanding is that the Japanese viewed armour as recon and infantry fire support, and not much else. I don't think the Japanese ever really developed a doctrine for tank vs tank warfare, nor did they develop mass armoured formations like the Allies and Germany did. Experience in China and in the early days of the Second World War probably convinced the Japanese that they had little need of armour, and the arrival of tanks built for the European war (i.e the Sherman and Churchill, etc.) must have been a very rude awakening for them.
     
  13. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,441
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    MGR
    Location:
    Phila, Pa
    Read that also. According to the Marine Infantry (who were hugely suprised to see Japanese Tanks coming at them), the Japanese were "hanging all over the tanks". Also, the Marine tanks were not the only weapons used on the Japanese Tanks. Bazookas and Artillery got in the act. Probably some NGFS as well. Pretty much threw everything in the inventory at them.
     
  14. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    4,441
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    MGR
    Location:
    Phila, Pa

    I think (not positive but IIRC) the Japanese also had the bad luck of running into formations that had fought in the dessert or had plenty of vetrans from the desert in them. Not only did the Japanese have inferior tanks and no training or doctirne, they were up against troops that got their training from Rommels Panzer force.
     
  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    Messages:
    10,678
    Likes Received:
    676
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Occupation:
    Urban Design/Strategic Studies Tutor
    Location:
    Orange NSW
    One thing to note about the japanese use of armour, and they proved very adept at using armour in rough terrain . They were the first army to realize that armour could be employed in the Jungles, which is something the US forces in the Jungle did not grasp as a concept until well into 1943. The Australians had encountered Japanese tanks in the Malayan Jungles and their 2 pdrs had dispatched them in an impressive style, at Jitra I believe.

    I do know that the Brits used Shermans in the 1945 offensive into Burma and had also used armour (but not Shermans) during Imphal and Kohima battles. But it was the Australians who were the first allies that used armour in the Jungle, at Gona and Sanananda in late 1942. The armoured support afforded by the Stuarts proved decisive, enabling the Australian Infantry to keep forward movement against the heavily entrenched Japanese Bunkers, whilst the Americans fighting beside them could not keep advancing, and in fact fell back at one stage. Despite this, the Americans still refrained from employing support armour in any of their jungle campaigns, and as far as I know did not use armoured support in thir amphib landings until Pelieu. they certainly did not use tanks in their initial assaults at Normandy to anything like the scale the british did, and one of the results of this was the debacle at Omaha.

    The Americans did not extensively employ heavy armour in the Pacific until late in the war. During the war, they mostly employed light tanks against the Japanese, Stuarts mostly, They were again amazed to find the Australians in 1945 using heavy armour in the thick jungle of Bougainville in 1945. This was a technique repeated in Vietnam, using Centurians.

    The Japanese Shinhoto Chi Ha was armed with a 47mm gun that was adequate against the Stuart, or even an M3 Grant, but was hard pressed against a Sherman. however at wars end they had a 75mm gun version of the Chi Ha, which they were busily stockpiling in the Home Islands. Against a T-34-85, the Shinhoto Chi Has had no chance . It also could not cope with the Australian Matildas
     
  16. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    3,099
    Likes Received:
    28
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Occupation:
    Substitute teacher; graduate student
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States
    Interesting info Parsifal, thanks!
     
Loading...

Share This Page