Saving Private Ryan - Tank Busters

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Staff Sergeant
Feb 23, 2005
Those (probably all of you) who have seen Saving Private Ryan will recall that at the end, a German Tiger is bearing down on Tom Hanks character when suddenly, the tank is destroyed by a P-51. Matt Danon's character exclaims, "They're tank busters, P-51's" or something to that effect.

P-51's as tank busters?
Well P-51's could carry Rockets, so maby the grunts on the ground referred to these as "Tankbusters".
Don't forget the claim that P-47s could take out Tigers with their 50s by bouncing the bullets off the ground into the belly of the Tiger. :lol: :lol:
I got the impression that it was a bomb that was dropped on the Tiger in the movie. Shouldn't the plane have been a Typhoon or Thunderbolt though?

What do you mean .50's can't bounce off the ground under a tank and put it out of commission? It happened all the time. :)
It's quite amazing [and disgusting] that they tried to pass Matt Damon off as being in the 506th PIR of 101st Airborne. As if that wuss could do what those lads did.

.50s would hardly be able to destroy a Tiger, even with deflection shots to the under-side. That happened to lighter tanks such as the Pz.IV and below.
20 mm would probably do considerable damage to the underside of a Tiger and Panther though.
lesofprimus said:
I've never regarded the P-51D as a "Tank Buster"...

Escort Fighter????


Me neither, but the grunts on the ground back then would call all planes coming in with rockets blazing "Tankbusters". (Especially if they actually busted some tanks ;) )
cheddar cheese said:
Perhaps they were actually A-36's, the ground attack version of the P-51?

The A-36s were in the MTO with the 27th and 86th FBG. Also with the 311th FBG in India.

A-36s flew 23,373 combat sorties, dropping some 8000t of bombs, shooting down 84 EAs for the loss of 177 a/c to enemy action. That is 132 sorties per loss. Who says the P-51 was susceptable to ground fire?

It is wishful thinking if one thinks a 20mm wil do damage to the bottom of a Tiger/Panther with at least 25mm of armour to penetrate.
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