Jump to content
John

US armour

Recommended Posts

Did the US Army have their own designs in the War, or did they use Brit ones captured German ones?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the Americans had no tank designs of their own during WWI. They may have used a few MKV tanks, but their first attempt at tanks was with the MkVIII or 'Liberty' International Heavy Tank. This was a joint venture between the UK and U.S, but entered service in 1920. They were therefore never used in action, and many ended up being given to Canada to train their crews before they entered WWII.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was an American Division under British Command that fought alongside Anglo-French Forces during the German Offensive of 1918. There are photographs in existence of MKV tanks providing cover for the American Infantry on the Somme. Curiously one of those tanks has a "picture" painted on the nascelle - a very 'American' thing as we generally had names such as 'Creme de Menthe'(yuk).

Though on loan to Haig's Army as a goodwill gesture (Pershing had originally promised the US Govt that the 'Doughboys' in Europe would never be under the Command of any General but an American, probably quite wisely given the slaughter we had inflicted on each other) the Americans tended to be self sufficient in most things and were as keen as mustard (a WW1 phrase) to get to grips with 'modern warfare' so it is not beyond the realms of possibility that they crewed their own tanks. They certainly had crews training at the Tank school in France, but to my knowledge they had not yet developed one of their own.

Similarly, photos of the fighting in the Argonne show Americans troops advancing alongside the new Whippet tanks. It is not clear who manned these machines. But I will find out!

The only German tank was the "SturmpanzerWagon" A7V, an ungainly, under powered, undergunned useless great lump of metal that had a crew of 18 and that no-one would have as a gift! All those that reached the Front (20) were destroyed. Got their own back with the Tiger though!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Edited by Barney

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Atilla Jones

The US used French Renault FT-17 tanks. There are quite a few photos of them in service in the St. Mihiel sector. I beleive Patton had his first experience of armoured warfare in a Renault, not a great experience ! :excl:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe the Renault tank was faster in reverse, than it was in advancing!! biggrin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Atilla Jones

Hmmm. Not exactly a Konigstiger ! Quaint looking piece of kit though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest John Sukey

Hmmm. Not exactly a Konigstiger ! Quaint looking piece of kit though.

Considering what the other side had. the Renault was'nt that bad a deal. At least the Germans had a dubious first in WW1. Having the first tank knocked out by another tank!

The Konigstiger was one heck of a tank, but complicated, prone to breaking down, and they never built enough of them. I suppose the allies should be grateful for that fact. They did'nt do very well when a rocket firing Typhoon was around either.

According to a program on the telly, Michael Wittman had his tank brewed up by one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Atilla Jones

I've often thought that if the Germans had concentrated on manufacture of the Tiger 1, plus some other proven types they would have fared better. Same applies to aircraft production to a certain extent. This 'Biggest is best' syndrome resulted in the Jagdtiger and the Maus, look great on paper but not so on an open battlefield

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. I 've always thought they should have stuck with making the line in tanks. I think that their Assault gun designs were excellent, and maybe they could have made more of these. They were often called the 'poor man's tank' , but they were simple to build, less prone to mechanical problems and were deadly in the right hands.
I didn't know that Germany was the first country to have a tank knocked out by another tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's true that the Germans were the losers in the first ever tank battle!

I believe that for the price of a Tiger I they could build 3 Panzer IV's?

The Royal Tiger was a bit of a pointless tank, the Tiger I already being more than capable of taking on anything in the world at that time. Having stood next to one though, i can vouch that's it an awesome sight! It wouldn't look that out of place on a modern battlefield.

In regard to the Witmann and Typhoon story (which we've discussed on another thread), i'm very dubious...........

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Atilla Jones

Apparently the Panther was so unrealiable the Russians gave up the notion of using captured vehicles. There are quite a few myths about German AFVs, ther Elephant was actually very effective as a tank hunter, in it's proper situation. The Russians made a lot of a few photos of stranded Elephants, their statistics concerning destroyed tanks during the Kursk offensive are very dubious too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, the early Panthers were very unreliable, catching fire very easily, but they actually ended up becoming one of the best tanks of the war. Funny though, when you consider that they were supposed to be the German answer to the T34! Originally the Germans were considering simply copying the T34, but Hitler stopped that idea in its tracks. The thought of Germany having to copy the 'Untermunchen'? Never!

As you also say, the 'Elephant' was a very effective weapon, being powerful yet cheap to make. I think the main problem with it was when it was used without infantry support, because it had NO defensive armament (as in machine-guns), it was very prone to attack by enemy troops. Powerful main gun yes, but no self-defence. Also, it produced a very high and large target for the enemy due to it's sheer size, making it hard to conceal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Elephant was designed as a mobile artillary gun with a long barrelled 88 mounted. It should never have been used in the assualt mode. It should never have needed an MG if it was used in the correct role. wink.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Germans should have stuck with the long-barrelled and up-gunned MKIV Panzer. The production lines were so well established that they could have produced so many thousands of the things....

By the end of the war it wasn't the 'best' tank, but there was nothing wrong with it. The crews may have found themselves with the same probs the Shernman crews had, but there would have been so many more of them....

Having said that, one of my books says that the Allies needed ten Shermans to take out just one Tiger I!!....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Germans should have stuck with the long-barrelled and up-gunned MKIV Panzer. The production lines were so well established that they could have produced so many thousands of the things....

By the end of the war it wasn't the 'best' tank, but there was nothing wrong with it. The crews may have found themselves with the same probs the Shernman crews had, but there would have been so many more of them....

Having said that, one of my books says that the Allies needed ten Shermans to take out just one Tiger I!!....

NOT AT VILLERS BOCAGE!

The Germans never really stuck with a design for anything, unlike the allies with the sherman and t34.

But, there's no doubt that they influenced future Tank design forever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, they were definately into their technology! This is why i still reckon they should have stuck with the up-gunned MKIV. Not the most cutting-edge tank by the end of the War, but had they concentrated on sheer numbers it would have made a hell of a difference. I understand that three MKIV tanks could be produced for each Tiger I?

Hitlers obsession with new technology undoubtedly played a part. He was more interested in producing 'shiny' new tanks than repairing those immobilized on the front line.

I think this is the wrong section for this discussion to go further! smile.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, but three Mark IVs would certainly not have made the impact of the Tiger 1, and the Tiger1 had a very specific role. And come on... Villers Bocage in a Mark IV?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...