Friday, 24 March 2017

Panzerfaust Bazooka & The PIAT

Hand held anti tank weapons were widely used in the Second World  War, cheaper to produce than an anti-tank gun they could be moved around a battlefield without the need for mechanised transport. It was a matter of hide, wait until your target was in range and fire. Then hope you've knocked out your tank and it can't fire back. This scene from Band of Brothers from about 4.56 shows how they 101st knocked out a Panzer with a nice shot to the soft underbelly.




The PIAT (Projectile Infantry Anti Tank)had an advantage over the bazooka in that it left no smoke trail. It was basically a tube with a steel spring inside and it was used widely by the British army until 1951. Not the best of weapons according to the video below.





The German panzerfaust was based on the U.S bazooka. I can't seem to find a reliable source online, but according to good old wikipedia, Nazi Germany made over 6 million of them, and they were used by all Axis powers.


Monday, 13 March 2017

Churchill Tank #WW2

Churchill Mk I tank found at: http://someinterestingfacts.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Churchill-ARV-MK-I-300x218.jpg


The Churchill tank was rushed into production in 1940 when Britain only had 100 tanks to defend its shores, predicatebly there were many teething problems. Armed with first a 2 pounder then 6 pounder guns, they were superseded by 75mm guns from salvaged Sherman tanks, others proving ineffective.

There were many marks of Churchills produced, even one with a 95mm gun, but what stands out are the special adaptations of the Churchill tank which were used on D-Day.They were fitted with flame throwers towing a fuel tank behind, the AVTR carried a bundle of wood to drop into trenches enabling tanks to cross over, they laid bridges and were fitted with a large mortar used to destroy bunkers. Please have a look at my previous posts here: http://oldecuriosity.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/d-day-6th-june-1944-hobarts-funnies.html &; http://oldecuriosity.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/d-day-6th-june-1944-more-of-hobarts.html

It had a good turning circle and low silhouette, by the time the MK IV was produced it had a max speed of 17mph and a range of 90 miles. According to www.tanks there were 1600 built. http://www.tanks-encyclopedia.com/ww2/gb/A22_Churchill_Tank.php


Friday, 10 February 2017

#Fury A Film Directed By David Ayer Starring Brad Pitt - One Of The Worst #WW2 Films EVER


I ordered the Fury DVD from Amazon & couldn't wait to see it. Wow what a disappointment. The Sherman tank is portrayed as being some sort of supertank. Invincible to panzerfausts, 200-300 heavily armed & motivated SS troops and capable of firing on the move and successfully hitting the target. Jeez, I wish the United States film industry could come up with a bit more realism.
The scene where the U troops attack anti tank and field guns is so laughable. The tanks have infantry using them as forts and are progressing in straight lines at around 2mph in a head on attack towards anti-tank guns. In real life the Americans would all die, the Sherman's armour was like paper, powered by a petrol engine.  In North Africa they were nicknamed Tommy cookers by the Germans for their habit of catching fire when hit anywhere.


Even when ambushed by a Tiger the Shermans still fire on the move, schoolboy tactics.

Anyway tell me what you thought of it? It's the worst tank film since Battle of The Bulge with it's all star cast. For some primary sources of information, watch the next video, a veteran who was a Captain in #WW2 tells of over 500% casualty rate in his regiment alone.





16.2.17

On other socila media platforms, I have received more than a fair share of criticism, I do not object to this, none of us are perfect. Unfortunately the Sherman tank was not prefect either. It was a good medium tank but - to quote Lt S.Hills:

          The Sherman had its faults, and the most serious of these was a tendency to catch fire too easily, which explains why it came to be christened the 'Ronson Lighter'. At thirty two tons to the Tiger's fifty six, it was also deficient in weight of armour, and the M4's 75-millimetre gun easily penetrated the Sherman. Both the Tiger and the two types of Panther were daunting and fearsome opponents. The Panther's armour was intimidating The Panther Mark V carried a 75mm gun and two 7.92mm machine guns, and the Jagdpanther an 88mm gun and one 7.92 mm machine gun. The frontal armour of the German tanks was also much thicker, 80mm in the Panther and a massive 155mm in the Tiger., compared to the Sherman's 50mm.In Normandy the German tanks prospered because of the nature of the ground: they could be dug in as immovable defensive obstacles and so their lack of maneuverability counted for less. Once the pursuit began, however, the Sherman's greater speed and endurance came into its own and our tanks overwhelmed the German defences in a mobile battle.

p.p 96-97, Lt S.Hills, By Tank Into Normandy, London, (2003)

Frank must have missed the turn to the left and gone straight down the road to Berjou. On that road his tank took a direct hit from a Panzerfaust and the whole crew was killed.

p.p 135-136, Lt S.Hills, By Tank Into Normandy, London, (2003)



Illinois University also published this: https://archives.library.illinois.edu/blog/poor-defense-sherman-tanks-ww2/