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Nickdfresh
05-08-2011, 11:27 AM
Okay, I think most here know that while Allied air-power was effective at hindering the movement of German panzers, I think most also know it was rather difficult for an Allied Typhoon or Thunderbolt to actually blow up and destroy a tank with unguided rockets and bombs. Recently, a Military History Channel program on the recounted how a den of Panther's was spotted by a French recon unit in an orchard at the end of September 1944, and how the Allied fighters dropped napalm on them destroying dozens of tanks. How common was this tactic?

DVX
05-08-2011, 04:24 PM
Are you sure it was napalm? There was a great variety of incendiary bombs that could do the job; generally in WWII napalm was used against fortifications, because it had an igniting element and didin't need an oxigen conctat (like traditional incendiary or phosphorous bombs) and so was very fit for fortifications and underground strongholds.
For an attack over a tanks column it could be fairly used a traditional kind of incendiary bomb.
The use of napalm in western front was in fact (like in the Pacific, anyway) against fortifications like the first against the Cezambre island fort, off the gulf of Saint Malo, where a garrison of 500 Germans and 200 Italians of RSI resisted until september, after 120000 tons of bombs (and the islands is very little) and the first napalm bombs in western front.

Nickdfresh
05-08-2011, 05:31 PM
The program did say "napalm". The source is "Greatest Tank Battles: The Battle of Arracourt." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Arracourt)

Nickdfresh
05-08-2011, 05:49 PM
BTW, there are some grisly pic's of charred Panthers in the Photo section. I had assumed they were the aftermath of the Falaise Gap route...

muscogeemike
05-09-2011, 08:00 PM
Are you sure it was napalm? There was a great variety of incendiary bombs that could do the job; generally in WWII napalm was used against fortifications, because it had an igniting element and didin't need an oxigen conctat (like traditional incendiary or phosphorous bombs) and so was very fit for fortifications and underground strongholds.
For an attack over a tanks column it could be fairly used a traditional kind of incendiary bomb.
The use of napalm in western front was in fact (like in the Pacific, anyway) against fortifications like the first against the Cezambre island fort, off the gulf of Saint Malo, where a garrison of 500 Germans and 200 Italians of RSI resisted until september, after 120000 tons of bombs (and the islands is very little) and the first napalm bombs in western front.

Historical tid bits like this are why I love this site. Thanks

Rochard
05-12-2011, 02:15 PM
I never knew they dropped napalm from planes in this era... I always thought that was a Vietnam type of thing.

forager
05-13-2011, 09:29 AM
What exactly is an incendiary bomb?

Having seen Napalm deployed close up, I think it would be ideal for a gaggle or group of vehicles.

It makes a big splash that is kind of directional due to momentum.

It has some stickiness and would cover the vehicles roasting or suffocating the crews and igniting fuel and ammo.

The attack described sounds like a great exploitation of an opportunity.

I doubt the flew out everyday and found groups of tanks, but I am sure some of these guys missions involved priorities and targets of opportunity.

The history channel and other sources can be questionable on details and deeper research is often advised.