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Nickdfresh
02-06-2009, 05:54 PM
Anyone have any information on this? I know extensive use of armour that was otherwise considered obsolete was made in Burma. Most notably the M3 Lee/Grant. I assume they would have been very effective against Japanese infantry and even most IJA tanks...

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee274/Bodston/DSC00561.jpg
http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee274/Bodston/SE_002206.jpg

Rising Sun*
02-06-2009, 09:07 PM
The British and Commonwealth forces in Malaya had no tanks. The Japanese had a couple of hundred. This put the British and Commonwealth forces at something of a disadvantage, and helped redress the numerical inferiority of the Japanese forces.

32Bravo
02-07-2009, 09:03 AM
The British and Commonwealth forces in Malaya had no tanks. The Japanese had a couple of hundred. This put the British and Commonwealth forces at something of a disadvantage, and helped redress the numerical inferiority of the Japanese forces.

The Japanes Operation U-Go.

The battles of Imphal and Kohima.


Both Lees and Stuarts were used to great effect in opening the Imphal-Kohima road during the U-Go campaign in Burma. A great tactic of the Japanese was to block roads and defend these positions with almost impregnable bunkers. The Lees were put to good use in busting these bunkers and forcing a way through the Japanses defences.

The Lees, with their 75mm guns, made short work of the Japanese tanks (armed with 47mm guns), remnants of the 14 Tank Regiment which had stormed down the Malayan Peninsula to Singapore.

After the British success at Imphal and Kohima, the tanks were used extensively in supporting assaults throughout the remainder of the Burma campaign.

IIRC
149th (Medium) Regiment Royal Armoured Corps were equipped with Lees.

3rd Carabibiers and 7th Light cavalry equipped with Stuarts.

Ghurkas advancing with Lee tanks to clear Imphal Kohima road:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b2/Imphalgurkhas.jpg/300px-Imphalgurkhas.jpg

Stuarts preparing to cross the Irrawady river:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_jVVU3JR5iWo/SPnE5xW5dXI/AAAAAAAABIA/PdymyvE96Xo/s400/Stuart+Tanks+Irrawady.jpg

32Bravo
02-07-2009, 09:05 AM
Anyone have any information on this? I know extensive use of armour that was otherwise considered obsolete was made in Burma. Most notably the M3 Lee/Grant. I assume they would have been very effective against Japanese infantry and even most IJA tanks...

http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee274/Bodston/DSC00561.jpg


One piece of jungle can look much the same as another, but this very much resembles the operations to clear the Imphal/Kohima road, and is typical of other pictures from that operation.

Uyraell
02-08-2009, 03:00 AM
Am unsure as to exact location on that road, but I have an instinct you're right, Nickdfresh.
Am interested to see the longbarrel 37mm on the lead vehicle, which dates it as a later model, and possibly a diesel version M3.
As I said earlier, that persistent yet vague memory insists a mixed bunch of 20 or less M3s ended up in Burma yet I would need confirmation of the exact numbers and models. The Asian Theater isn't one I have greatly studied over the years.
Again, I can't help but think it would be interesting to know if any of the M3s in Burma have survived into the present day.

Regards, Uyraell.

32Bravo
02-08-2009, 05:03 AM
Am unsure as to exact Again, I can't help but think it would be interesting to know if any of the M3s in Burma have survived into the present day.

Regards, Uyraell.

If any Lees have survived, they can probably be found at the Bovington Tank Museum, http://www.tankmuseum.org/home

or the Imperial War Museum http://www.iwm.org.uk/

If not, then at least you're likely to find the information you require there.

The tanks were most likely left to rust in Burma, or used as targets on tank ranges.

32Bravo
02-08-2009, 06:05 AM
The Kohima Battle


Night 13/14 Apr also saw bitter fighting. At the FSD the Rajputs were forced
from their trenches by direct hits from the 75mm guns opposite, so that A Coy
at KUKI p. had to send one pl. forward to save the front positions….The Japs
made a heavy rush attack at B Coy from the DC bungalow, and succeeded in
penetrating into a shed on a small but important hillock when a Bren jammed.
The pln. comd, Lt King, restored the situation by driving them out with grenades,
but not before the Bren gunner himself picked up a shovel and cracked at his assailants with it...


http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/4C2B25FC-2E6C-45F9-B785-8A75139E9A0A/0/ww2_kohima.pdf

http://www.answers.com/topic/battle-of-imphal

Uyraell
02-09-2009, 05:20 AM
The Kohima Battle



http://www.mod.uk/NR/rdonlyres/4C2B25FC-2E6C-45F9-B785-8A75139E9A0A/0/ww2_kohima.pdf

http://www.answers.com/topic/battle-of-imphal

Many Thanks, 32Bravo,
Most interesting information. I'd lost sight of much of that, mainly because my book collection ended up being out of my hands (long, long tale).
I have very few references on Kohima nowdays, so am glad to see these.

Regards, Uyraell.

Schuultz
02-09-2009, 04:37 PM
So how come the British used so few tanks in the Pacific? Lack of resources?

32Bravo
02-09-2009, 06:03 PM
So how come the British used so few tanks in the Pacific? Lack of resources?

In a nutshell, yes!

And take a look at the dates 1944.

The allies had agreed on dealing with Europe first. Within that, the British had to conclude operations in North Africa, and then there was the follow-up through Sicily and Italy. Burma, was more of a containment operation. Yes, there were operations in the Arakan, and of course the Chindit operations, but these early ops were under-resourced and, as in North Africa, the British had to learn the techniques of, and train its people for, operations in this particular theatre. It wasn't until Bill Slim took command that things began to progress, and even with that, it was a long hard slog.

Slim had planned on fighting the Japanese with a counter-strike, after they had exhausted themselves with their own offensive operations. His first opportunity to put theory into praciste, was the Battle of the Admin Box (as it came to be known) when the Japanese committed themselves to their A-Go offensive. This was the first truly successful operation for regular British forces during the Burma Campaign.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Admin_Box

Capitalizing on the lessons learned from the Admin Box (i.e. to hold ground in an all-round-defence situation and resupply by air), Slim planned his counter-strike into Burma to follow-up after the defeat of the U-Go offensive at Imphaland Kohima.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U_Go_offensive

Slim would never have been able to do this without the improved supply chain which not only included the Lee tanks which were of less value in European theatres, but also because of the ability to supply by air. And, of course, one of Slim's master strokes was to continue to attack through the monsoon - though the troops might not have thought so at the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China_Burma_India_Theater

As I read more about the Burma campaign, I can't help admiring those troops of the British Indian Army who fought so hard and valliantly alongside and, at times, infront of the British troops.

Schuultz
02-09-2009, 06:30 PM
What I recently learned and what surprised me was that at the start of WW2, Egypt, Iraq and major parts of India were actually pro-German!
That was less because of a shared ideology than a shared dislike for the British though, with the attitude being more like 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'.

The British obviously didn't give a **** and simply re-occupied India and Iraq, to whom they had previously granted 'constitutional independence', and eliminated the pro-German factions in India.

Obviously this is relatively off topic, but I had just learned that and thought it was pretty interesting...

32Bravo
02-09-2009, 06:33 PM
What I recently learned and what surprised me was that at the start of WW2, Egypt, Iraq and major parts of India were actually pro-German!
That was less because of a shared ideology than a shared dislike for the British though, with the attitude being more like 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend'.

The British obviously didn't give a **** and simply re-occupied India and Iraq, to whom they had previously granted 'constitutional independence', and eliminated the pro-German factions in India.

Obviously this is relatively off topic, but I had just learned that and thought it was pretty interesting...

It is, but aren't you the chap that makes wandering off-topic, an occupation? ;)

Schuultz
02-09-2009, 06:36 PM
A Full-Time one, too :D I really don't feel like opening a new thread for any bullshit tidbit of information I might have picked up somewhere, so I just put it in a thread that's at least remotely connectible to it and let the people there ignore it for what it's worth :mrgreen:

32Bravo
02-09-2009, 06:51 PM
A Full-Time one, too :D I really don't feel like opening a new thread for any bullshit tidbit of information I might have picked up somewhere, so I just put it in a thread that's at least remotely connectible to it and let the people there ignore it for what it's worth :mrgreen:

Yeah, right. :rolleyes:


About Schuultz Biography
Currently a History Student with too much spare time between classes at Dalhousie University.
Location
Halifax/Stuttgart
Interests
WW2, Games, Movies, Photoshop, Books
Occupation
Getting threads and discussions off-topic

Schuultz
02-09-2009, 07:00 PM
Yeah, right. :rolleyes:

You're right, I should've put a 'Full Time' in front of it. My bad.

And yeah, the 'remotely connected' part was a lie. Maybe.

Rising Sun*
02-10-2009, 08:42 AM
And now, just to be a nitpicker, Britain didn't have land forces in the Pacific as, under an agreement between the US and Britain, the Pacific was left to the Americans, for obvious geographical and logistical reasons.

32Bravo
02-10-2009, 08:52 AM
And now, just to be a nitpicker, Britain didn't have land forces in the Pacific as, under an agreement between the US and Britain, the Pacific was left to the Americans, for obvious geographical and logistical reasons.

Was aware of that, but didn't want to cause anyone any embarrassment.

Rising Sun*
02-10-2009, 08:54 AM
Was aware of that, but didn't want to cause anyone any embarrassment.


Me too, but there comes a time when one has held one's fire too long and has to loose off a shot. ;) :D

32Bravo
02-10-2009, 09:20 AM
Me too, but there comes a time when one has held one's fire too long and has to loose off a shot. ;) :D

Okay, Cowboy!

CliSwe
02-11-2009, 10:32 AM
I think the British employment of armour in the Far East was outstanding. Let's face it: This was not North Africa or the Eastern Front, and armoured warfare was a totally different proposition. Massive high-speed armoured penetrations were never going to happen. Infantry support was the name of the game, and 14th Army did the job very effectively. Why should anyone question the effectiveness of such a successful stratagem?

Cheers,
Cliff

32Bravo
02-11-2009, 03:41 PM
I think the British employment of armour in the Far East was outstanding. Let's face it: This was not North Africa or the Eastern Front, and armoured warfare was a totally different proposition. Massive high-speed armoured penetrations were never going to happen. Infantry support was the name of the game, and 14th Army did the job very effectively. Why should anyone question the effectiveness of such a successful stratagem?

Cheers,
Cliff

Agree with much of what you say, CliSwe, but I'm not sure where you're coming from:


Why should anyone question the effectiveness of such a successful stratagem?

Was the effectiveness of the strategem/tactics being questioned?

Uyraell
02-11-2009, 09:15 PM
And now, just to be a nitpicker, Britain didn't have land forces in the Pacific as, under an agreement between the US and Britain, the Pacific was left to the Americans, for obvious geographical and logistical reasons.

You are of course correct.
But it isn't stretching a point too far to classify Australians and New Zealanders as "British" for the purposes of the thread, it being that by agreement between the Commonwealth heads of government the UK in general had overview and command of the available commonwealth forces, subject to certain logistical and supply review by the respective governments.

What often happened of course was that those same governments took to dealing with the "local" American command structures independant of the War Office in the UK. Plainly, this simplified tactical command and logistics matters.
Therefore, the loosely applied "British" nomen is forgivable, in the circumstances, imho.

Regards, Uyraell.

Rising Sun*
02-12-2009, 04:18 AM
But it isn't stretching a point too far to classify Australians and New Zealanders as "British" for the purposes of the thread, it being that by agreement between the Commonwealth heads of government the UK in general had overview and command of the available commonwealth forces, subject to certain logistical and supply review by the respective governments.

What often happened of course was that those same governments took to dealing with the "local" American command structures independant of the War Office in the UK. Plainly, this simplified tactical command and logistics matters.
Therefore, the loosely applied "British" nomen is forgivable, in the circumstances, imho.

Australians were formally 'British' until our Citizenship Act of 1948 made us Australian citizens, but events during WWII had already separated us from Britain in many respects crucial to the conduct of the Pacific war.

Our forces in WWII always retained their independence when acting with Britain and our commanders took their orders from Australia, not Britain. British commanders in the Middle East had difficulty grasping this as they assumed that they automatically had soveriegnty over the colonials.

A lot of this goes back to WWI when, among other things, Australians objected to the British policy of shooting their own men for various offences and refused to submit themselves to the same regime.

We certainly weren't under British command in our Pacific war, but voluntarily (more like desperately!) under American command under MacArthur.

Much of the Australian sentiment revolved around Churchill and others in the British government abandoning Australia to the advancing Japanese, at least as far as many in the Australian government and population saw it. This was in part a bit of vengeance or Schadenfreude by Churchill et al in retaliation for, as they saw it, Australia losing Malaya and Singapore to the Japanese, despite Australian forces being a minor part of the total British and Commonwealth force. The bitterness from the Australian side focuses on February 1942, shortly after Singapore surrendered, when Churchill unilaterally diverted our divisions returning from the Middle East (against British attempts to keep them there) to Burma. If they had gone to Burma they would have been lost, and Papua would have been lost to the Japanese later in 1942 as those troops, which were critical to repulsing the Japanese, would have been languishing as POWs of Japan, and we might well have been invaded. The war certainly would have progressed very differently for both sides.

All of this showed that our Prime Minister, John Curtin, was not unreasonable in abandoning Britain in preference for America in his famous words late in December 1941: “Without any inhibitions of any kind I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom.”

So, against that background and other matters which fractured the relationship between Australia and Britain, by the time MacArthur arrived in Australia in March 1942 there was no sentiment in the government leadership which would have allowed Britain to dictate to us on military or strategic matters in the war against Japan, which at that stage was the war to save Australia. It got worse when, around May 1942, Australia discovered by accident that Churchill and Roosevelt were pursuing their agreed 'Germany first' policy and that fighting Japan was not, relative to defeating Germany, a major strategic concern, and that in extreme circumstances Australia was expendable.

Britain was totally uninvolved in and irrelevant to the conduct of our Pacific war. Indeed, MacArthur encouraged Curtin to retrieve our remaining division from the British campaign in the Middle East, which duly occurred.

There is a very good treatment of these matters in several of David Day’s books http://users.bigpond.net.au/davidday/ , notably The Politics of War - Australia at War, 1939-45: From Churchill to Macarthur. David Horner http://rspas.anu.edu.au/people/personal/hornd_sdsc.php also covers these issues in various of his books, albeit perhaps more dispassionately than Day.

Schuultz
02-12-2009, 07:48 AM
Did the Australians have different equipment than the rest of the British/Commonwealth forces (tanks, weapons, etc, not uniforms)

Rising Sun*
02-12-2009, 08:06 AM
Did the Australians have different equipment than the rest of the British/Commonwealth forces (tanks, weapons, etc, not uniforms)

Generally no, apart from occasional local variations such as the Owen gun which evolved during the war.

Australian units might not have had the full range of British equipment as our army was much smaller and constrained by the Depression and other reasons for stingy defence spending, but they were based largely upon British equipment, as well as British tactics and organisation.

Mk VII
02-12-2009, 09:15 AM
Relations with Australia have never really been the same again. particularly after we dumped the 'Old' [i.e. White] Commonwealth in favour of the European Common Market in the 1970s.

Rising Sun*
02-12-2009, 07:47 PM
Relations with Australia have never really been the same again. particularly after we dumped the 'Old' [i.e. White] Commonwealth in favour of the European Common Market in the 1970s.

Not necessarily a bad thing.

It made Australians learn to be more independent as a nation, although our governments have tried to hitch our wagon to America as a substitute for Britain for defence purposes.

In the right, or more accurately wrong, war circumstances which I hope never eventuate, our government will discover that America will behave just as Britain did in WWII, and as any nation will, by looking exclusively to its own best interests and determining what happens to Australia on that basis.

Exactly as America did in WWII when, despite all the propaganda (still believed by a distressingly large proportion of my countrymen as the basis for their quaint belief that America will always save us in future) about fraternal bonds and coming to save us, the real reason was that it was in America's strategic interests to preserve Australia as a base for its operations against Japan to win America's war against Japan.

32Bravo
02-13-2009, 06:52 AM
Relations with Australia have never really been the same again. particularly after we dumped the 'Old' [i.e. White] Commonwealth in favour of the European Common Market in the 1970s.


Care to elaborate?

32Bravo
02-13-2009, 06:54 AM
Did the Australians have different equipment than the rest of the British/Commonwealth forces (tanks, weapons, etc, not uniforms)

In PNG Australian forces were equipped with matilda tanks.

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ajrp/remember.nsf/popup/HuonSattel/%24file/016226.jpg%3FOpenElement&imgrefurl=http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ajrp/remember.nsf/Web-Printer/DCC89A53B99FB911CA256CB80026E162%3FOpenDocument&usg=__cmDslGfWto7n_-otmu1jYsgJLpw=&h=103&w=140&sz=13&hl=en&start=9&tbnid=hOiAOiDgkTu0CM:&tbnh=68&tbnw=93&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmatilda%2Btanks%2Bpapua%2Bnew%2Bgunin ea%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

Mk VII
02-13-2009, 06:58 AM
elaborate in which direction? The Common Market, or relations with Australia?

32Bravo
02-13-2009, 06:59 AM
elaborate in which direction? The Common Market, or relations with Australia?

"particularly after we dumped the 'Old' [i.e. White] Commonwealth"

Uyraell
02-13-2009, 07:46 AM
Australians were formally 'British' until our Citizenship Act of 1948 made us Australian citizens, but events during WWII had already separated us from Britain in many respects crucial to the conduct of the Pacific war.

Our forces in WWII always retained their independence when acting with Britain and our commanders took their orders from Australia, not Britain. British commanders in the Middle East had difficulty grasping this as they assumed that they automatically had soveriegnty over the colonials.

A lot of this goes back to WWI when, among other things, Australians objected to the British policy of shooting their own men for various offences and refused to submit themselves to the same regime.

We certainly weren't under British command in our Pacific war, but voluntarily (more like desperately!) under American command under MacArthur.

Much of the Australian sentiment revolved around Churchill and others in the British government abandoning Australia to the advancing Japanese, at least as far as many in the Australian government and population saw it. This was in part a bit of vengeance or Schadenfreude by Churchill et al in retaliation for, as they saw it, Australia losing Malaya and Singapore to the Japanese, despite Australian forces being a minor part of the total British and Commonwealth force. The bitterness from the Australian side focuses on February 1942, shortly after Singapore surrendered, when Churchill unilaterally diverted our divisions returning from the Middle East (against British attempts to keep them there) to Burma. If they had gone to Burma they would have been lost, and Papua would have been lost to the Japanese later in 1942 as those troops, which were critical to repulsing the Japanese, would have been languishing as POWs of Japan, and we might well have been invaded. The war certainly would have progressed very differently for both sides.

All of this showed that our Prime Minister, John Curtin, was not unreasonable in abandoning Britain in preference for America in his famous words late in December 1941: “Without any inhibitions of any kind I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom.”

So, against that background and other matters which fractured the relationship between Australia and Britain, by the time MacArthur arrived in Australia in March 1942 there was no sentiment in the government leadership which would have allowed Britain to dictate to us on military or strategic matters in the war against Japan, which at that stage was the war to save Australia. It got worse when, around May 1942, Australia discovered by accident that Churchill and Roosevelt were pursuing their agreed 'Germany first' policy and that fighting Japan was not, relative to defeating Germany, a major strategic concern, and that in extreme circumstances Australia was expendable.

Britain was totally uninvolved in and irrelevant to the conduct of our Pacific war. Indeed, MacArthur encouraged Curtin to retrieve our remaining division from the British campaign in the Middle East, which duly occurred.

There is a very good treatment of these matters in several of David Day’s books http://users.bigpond.net.au/davidday/ , notably The Politics of War - Australia at War, 1939-45: From Churchill to Macarthur. David Horner http://rspas.anu.edu.au/people/personal/hornd_sdsc.php also covers these issues in various of his books, albeit perhaps more dispassionately than Day.

Non-contendere' : I agree with what you have put, and broadly speaking, NZ was in like case.
Likewise as "under command" situations: British officers in general didn't understand that the respective Goverments maintained command over their own troops while broadly co-operating with the British forces, or American where such case applied.
Though I suspect we're almost into an entirely "new" thread with this aspect of the discussion.

Regards, Uyraell.

Rising Sun*
02-13-2009, 07:47 AM
In PNG Australian forces were equipped with matilda tanks.

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ajrp/remember.nsf/popup/HuonSattel/%24file/016226.jpg%3FOpenElement&imgrefurl=http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ajrp/remember.nsf/Web-Printer/DCC89A53B99FB911CA256CB80026E162%3FOpenDocument&usg=__cmDslGfWto7n_-otmu1jYsgJLpw=&h=103&w=140&sz=13&hl=en&start=9&tbnid=hOiAOiDgkTu0CM:&tbnh=68&tbnw=93&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmatilda%2Btanks%2Bpapua%2Bnew%2Bgunin ea%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

Yeah, but not when it really mattered in 1942 on the Kokoda Track and elsewhere in 1942.

Nobody could have got a tank up on Kokoda.

The Japanese were very good at getting heavy MGs and mountain guns into action, and very quickly to capitalise on their advances, on Kokoda while the Australians lacked both.

The tide turned when the Japanese neared Moresby and the Australians got some 25 pdrs into action, against the odds by a great effort of dragging them up the mountains in various ways and configuratiosn. There is a great audio account of this by a gunner on the ABC but I can't find it.

32Bravo
02-13-2009, 07:52 AM
After reading this..


Yeah, but not when it really mattered in 1942 on the Kokoda Track and elsewhere in 1942.

I was about to suggest this...




Nobody could have got a tank up on Kokoda.

But you saved me the effort. :)

Rising Sun*
02-13-2009, 07:56 AM
After reading this..



I was about to suggest this...



But you saved me the effort. :)

My wife accuses me of being effortless, but who cares what she thinks?

Rising Sun*
02-13-2009, 08:09 AM
Non-contendere' : I agree with what you have put, and broadly speaking, NZ was in like case.
Likewise as "under command" situations: British officers in general didn't understand that the respective Goverments maintained command over their own troops while broadly co-operating with the British forces, or American where such case applied.
Though I suspect we're almost into an entirely "new" thread with this aspect of the discussion.

Regards, Uyraell.

I don't know much about Kiwi forces in WWII, except that they stayed in the Med and were heavily involved in Italy after Australia had withdrawn, and that General Freyberg, V.C., D.S.O. and three bars, among other awards, was a bloody good soldier in two world wars and a very effective commander in the second war.

I think that in general histories the Kiwis might be the most overlooked of all the Allied forces for their contribution, apart perhaps from the perpetually ignored Brazilians who also fought very well in Italy.

32Bravo
02-13-2009, 08:54 AM
My wife accuses me of being effortless, but who cares what she thinks?

Yes, well, with me it's always effortless. One size fits all, and if they complain they're too tight, then I just stretch them a little. :)

Back on topic.

The lack of tank support was endemic throughout the allied southern hemisphere theatres in 1942.

The Argyles had local success in delaying the Japanese advance down the Malay peninsula, until confronted by japanese armour, which finished them off.

http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/69/IWM-H-447-Lancheter-armoured-car.jpg/300px-IWM-H-447-Lancheter-armoured-car.jpg&imgrefurl=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lanchester_Armoured_Car&usg=__AQDTKRQlmFLy82N_tgkoEHvXjYQ=&h=187&w=300&sz=35&hl=en&start=9&tbnid=HBWeynllN_jNQM:&tbnh=72&tbnw=116&prev=/images%3Fq%3DArgyle%2Barmoured%2Bcarss%2Bmalaya%26 gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

The Phillipines, the retreat through Burma, much the same story.

OLD RSM
02-13-2009, 12:15 PM
If any Lees have survived, they can probably be found at the Bovington Tank Museum, http://www.tankmuseum.org/home

or the Imperial War Museum http://www.iwm.org.uk/

If not, then at least you're likely to find the information you require there.

The tanks were most likely left to rust in Burma, or used as targets on tank ranges.



Canadian War Museum, Ottawa Has one or more In the US there are lots on most Bases also US Army bases in Germany
Cheers

OLD RSM
02-13-2009, 12:47 PM
Hi Guy's

Big File but lots of Lee/Grants

Surviving M2 Medium, M3 Lee and M3 Grant tanks
M3 Lee – Canadian War Museum, Ottawa (Canada) ... M3 Lee – Royal Australian
Armoured Corps Tank Museum Puckapunyal (Australia) ...
the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_Lee_Grant.pdf
Cheers

32Bravo
02-13-2009, 03:54 PM
Hi Guy's

Big File but lots of Lee/Grants

[PDF]Surviving M2 Medium, M3 Lee and M3 Grant tanks
M3 Lee – Canadian War Museum, Ottawa (Canada) ... M3 Lee – Royal Australian
Armoured Corps Tank Museum Puckapunyal (Australia) ...
the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_Lee_Grant.pdf -
Cheers

That's a very pukka link.

Cheers, Marra

32Bravo
02-14-2009, 07:29 AM
I don't know whether this has been poted elsewhere, but I saw this on 'Battlestations' this morning:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z88mupP4mWI

Nickdfresh
02-14-2009, 07:37 AM
That's a very pukka link.

Cheers, Marra

Fixed.

32Bravo
02-14-2009, 08:06 AM
Fixed.

Jus t so that there's no misunderstanding, no sarcasm intended, above.

Definition:

pukka also puck·a (pk)
adj.

1. Genuine; authentic.

2. Superior; first-class.

Rising Sun*
02-14-2009, 08:31 AM
Definition:

pukka also puck·a (pk)
adj.

Another puck.a, and an entirely military one.


Puckapunyal

One of the best known military camps in Australia, Puckapunyal Camp, widely-known simply as "Pucka", opened in November 1939 to accommodate troops of the 17th Brigade of the 6th Australian Division. It was one of several new camps built for the concentration and training of the Second AIF because existing military facilities were already occupied by militia units. Initially 5,714 hectares of grazing land were compulsory acquired just to the west of the town of Seymour (96 kilometres north of Melbourne); Seymour had been a site for military training since the late 1800s. The camp's name was derived from the name of a large hill within the field training area, today known as Mount Puckapunyal. Puckapunyal is an English rendering of an Aboriginal word the meaning of which is obscure. It has been variously translated as "death to the eagle", "the outer barbarians", "the middle hill", "place of exile", and "valley of the winds". The camp facilities at Puckapunyal were spartan at first - consisting primarily of unlined, windowless corrugated iron huts - but were progressively improved as the war continued. Both AIF and militia units were trained there, and the camp was also home to several Army schools. Puckapunyal remains in use by the Australian Army today and the field training area now encompasses almost 40,000 hectares. Since the Second World War a wide array of units, of both the regular and reserve, have been based at Puckapunyal or used it for training. It remains best known, however, as the home of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps, the first units of which moved there in February 1941. http://www.awm.gov.au/units/place_557.asp

......

32Bravo
02-14-2009, 09:04 AM
facilities at Puckapunyal were spartan at first - consisting primarily of unlined, windowless corrugated iron huts - but were progressively improved as the war continued.

So, Pucka beame real pukka. :lol:

Uyraell
02-14-2009, 08:49 PM
You're right Rising sun, Kiwi's barely get a mention, and the Brazilians even less.

I'm no expert on the Kiwis though: as a kid I was always interested in the tanks, and planes, and basically, NZ had none, when it actually mattered.
That left infantry weapons, then submarines as next choices of study, and what info I picked up on Kiwis derives from there, where it doesn't derive from direct sources, such as an Uncle who was fighting in El Alamein, Crete and Monte Cassino, and says he met Brazilians, later in Italy.

To topic, now. It is, Imho, completely reasonable to say that such armour as did see employ in the pacific was generally dated and of lesser specification than the armour in use elsewhere, though a case could very well be made on the behalf of the humble Matilda tank, which the Australians not only used effectively in its' Close Support 3-inch Howitzer version, but as a FlameThrower and Bulldozer tank as well.

Many of those vehicles did survive postwar, and some were used as Driver Training Vehicles until 1953, as I understand it.

(Pictures : The Semple "tank" :: State of the art in AFV's, NZ, circa 1940.)

Regards, Uyraell.

tankgeezer
02-14-2009, 10:20 PM
Canadian War Museum, Ottawa Has one or more In the US there are lots on most Bases also US Army bases in Germany
Cheers
Sad thing is, most of the posts in Germany were closed, and returned to the German Gov't. No idea what happened to the vehicles displayed in them. There was in my Kaserne the point tank from the relief of Bastogne, Cobra King by name. No one who was posted there seems to know what became of it. My guess is they were moved to remaining posts, or scrapped.

Uyraell
02-15-2009, 12:01 AM
TG,
That great evil, "Political Correctness", would have to be blamed.
There is, Imo, a concerted effort in either denying the realities of history to the young who walk this earth after us, or in so distorting that same history as to make it valueless.
As an amatuer though reasonably knowledgeable Historian, this trend saddens me greatly...

Regards, Uyraell.

CliSwe
02-15-2009, 09:30 AM
[FONT="Georgia"]TG,
That great evil, "Political Correctness", would have to be blamed.
There is, Imo, a concerted effort in either denying the realities of history to the young who walk this earth after us, or in so distorting that same history as to make it valueless.
As an amatuer though reasonably knowledgeable Historian, this trend saddens me greatly...

Regards, Uyraell

Ulyraell, I totally agree. As a 10yr old, I accompanied my father to Osnabruck, on the North German plain. Where I beheld boys of my age shouting "Heil Hitler!" and giving Nazi salutes as they passed us in the street. It would have been naive of us to expect "de-Nazification" to have been totally accepted by a shell-shocked and bewildered population. But the fist fights I got into were unmistakeably political. What price political correctness in 1957?
In 1964, I spent a few weeks in Berlin, where the local attitude to the British was totally different. Don't know if the close proximity of the Russians had anything to do with it - but the Brits certainly boosted the local economy.

Cheers,
Cliff

CliSwe
02-15-2009, 09:53 AM
I...General Freyberg, V.C., D.S.O. and three bars, among other awards, was a bloody good soldier in two world wars and a very effective commander in the second war.

I think that in general histories the Kiwis might be the most overlooked of all the Allied forces for their contribution, apart perhaps from the perpetually ignored Brazilians who also fought very well in Italy.

Rommel rated the New Zealand Division as the best Commonwealth (including the Brits) troops his men faced in North Africa. Maori troops would do insane things - like reaching up from a trench after a tank had rolled over it, and dropping a grenade inside the track; once the vehicle had been stopped, the Maori would swarm all over it, shooting the crew, dropping more grenades down the crew hatch, generally disabling the vehicle. The Kiwis punched well above their weight. Brazilians? wtf? More info required.

Cheers,
Cliff

32Bravo
02-15-2009, 02:54 PM
Sindat and more Tanks.
Ken Cooper : The Little Men.


Another unit in the Brigade had got a prisoner and it looked as if the Japanse facing us were the 33rd (Sendai) Division. When this particular division had failed to break through into Imphal the previous year it had lost heavily: but its constant suicide attacks had been so remarkable for their boldness, even for the Japanese, that it had been no surprise when we discovered that it was regarded as a 'crack' division. There can be few examples in history of a force as reduced, battered and exhausted as the Sendai division continuing to deliver such furious assaults; and this, not in order to fight its way out of an untenable position to save its own skin, but in order to achieve the original objectives set for it. It was obvious that here, behind the Irrawady river line, the Sendai division was as determined and as fanatical as ever and, more likely, reinforced with troops of a similar calibre.

One of Major General Tanaka's regiments was the redoubtable 214 Infantry, the Byaka Tai - White Tigers, as they called themselves - and they were probably the most ferociously barbarous bunch of soldiers ever to wear a uniform in modern history...

...In the daylight hours, between sporadic shelling, patrolling and the never-ending fatigues, we stood in the trenches about Alethaung and gazed mesmerised across the expanse of no-man's-land towards the compelling prospect of Sindat...

...One morning we heard the unaccustomed roar of giant engines and the rumbling and clancking of steel tacks approaching from the west. When a squadron of General Lee tanks harboured nearby...

...In the morning we went over to the tank laager to familarise ourselves with the technicalities of communication between tank and infantry. We were shown the telephones kept in containers under the armour plating at the back of each tank...

...One of the most popular methods we finally agreed on was that of indicating targets for the tanks' gunners by firing tracer bullets (to appraoch a tank under fire would invite a scragging from every enemy weapon in the vicinity). But the crews were pretty blind behind their steel walls: in the event we expected to be forced on occassion to use the tank telephones anyway.
We could imagine ourselves:

"Look here, old man, turn a bit to the left, so that you can see our tracers indicating the target for you."...

...A few Jap shells came over, aimed no doubt at the tanks, but near enough to us to make us duck and flinch. We moved restlessly as showersof earth and stones flung up across the paddyfields. The tank squadron was down now, out of sight in the bottom of a chaung. We could hear the engines roaring as flames and blue smoke belched from their exhausts into the air.

We waited expectantly. One tank roared into sight, balanced precariously on the bank of the chaung and slammed forward onto its tracks. It was the leading troop-commander who came over next, head and shoulders exposed above his turret, earphones firmly clamped over the back of his black beret on his head. I stood up and went to his tank a few yards away from the platoon. Looking down into the chaung I was horrified, though hardly surprised, to see the remaining ten tanks of the squadron churning deeper and deeper into the mire. The frustrated commanders gesticulated and cursed above the roar of the engines.

"Biggest balls-up since the Somme," I shouted down at them. The explosive hissing chatter of machine guns and the flurry of shelling in front swelled as the bombardment reached its climax....

"Advance...!"

Bullets began to crack and hiss about us like swarms of hornets. Shell-bursts spewed rubble between groups of crouching men. We covered the ravaged dust of no-man's-land in a state of mental suspension, the two tanks amongst us bobbing up and down over the paddy bunds like cavalry at the trot...

...The two tanks rolled along between my platoon and the remainder of the Company, their guns barking at intervals. In front of the tanks crept a wave of fire as the artillery barrage lifted and dropped again into the village...

...We swung left towards Sindat, snap-shooting at a crowd of Japanese. Some of them were carrying wounded comrades on their backs and running for the shelter of the trees.

The paltoon went in after them.
"Spread out! Spread out! Don't bunch!"

...Enemy troops were running about hither and thither to escape the flaming bamboo building falling in on their tenches and dugouts. We shot them down...

...A Jap grenade burst at my feet and I felt tiny fragments slash into the calvs of my legs. There was a burning sensation under my left arm.

I yelped and dived for the ground. Feeling a further pain, I got up and remembered to put my helmet back on my head. I caught a gimpse of Smithie's scared face.
"It's OK. High fragmentation, no sweat, let's go on."

Through a gap in the trees we could see one of the tanks on fire in a clearing. I caught a glimpse of two of the crew crouching in the open and firing their sten guns.

"This way, this way over here. Ther's a gap. Come on, come on."

...The men seemed to be suddenly consumed by a vast black savagery. We got up whooping triumphantly, and charged through a narrow gap in the wall of flame. Beyond the burning tank some Japs were falling back, turning to fire and bomb as they went. The platoon went after them in a solid scrum. Near the end of the village the Japs attempted to regroup. We saw for the first time an anti-tank gun. Two diminutive Japs in full kit were swinging across the gigantic barrel to counter-balance the weight of the trail, which was being manhandled by what Iassumed to be the gun-crew. There were half a dozen others covering them and snap-shooting at us. We rushed on them without pause, drunk with the intoxication of killing and destroying, our minds focussed on getting forward. When the blood lust faded seconds later there were Japanes lying all ways, some in shell craters their legs sticking out, others huddled against trees, most of them still, but a few jerking in horrible spasms, trying to get up, or turn over, or drag themselves on their hands. Their final attempt at defiance had been so bereft of the enemy's usual ferocity that I was awe-struck and incredulous. It had been almost too easy...

32Bravo
02-16-2009, 12:06 PM
The Road To Mandalay

Not sure about the white star insignia?

http://www.military-art.com/mall/images/dhm862.jpg

jopped
02-16-2009, 02:05 PM
There is an Osprey New Vanguard book about the M3 Lee/Grant.
In April 1941 the Indian 1st (later 251st) armoured brigade received a hand full of Grandt's, while the 2nd, later 252nd, received both Lee's and Grant's.The 251st got M-4 A4 Shermans before going into action, and the 252nd went to Persia with the 31st armoured division with 2 regiments of Grants, and then moved into Iraq were they were given Shermans in May '43.

The 254th Indian tank brigade however started to get Grants and Lee's in the summer of 1943 for 2 of their regiments, 3rd Carabiniers and 150 Regiment RAC. Both regiments fought at Kohima and Imphal in 44-45. Also, 25th Dragoons went into action with their Lee`s along the burmees coast when the second Arakan offencive took place, and two squadrons were enclosed in a box at Sinzewa with 7 division by the Japanees Ha-Go attack. The remaining squadron supported the 5th division to relieve the box. In February 1944 crews started experimenting with defences against magnetic mines, who could penetrate roof and rear armour of the Lee.

3rd Carabiniers successes in Burma let for a call for new Lee unids, and these were created. 3rd Carabiniers and 150 reg. RAC remained with their Lee's, as did some new employed, sutch as the new 146 reg. RAC, and possibly 149 reg. RAC, but I can't be sure of the last regiment.

Also in the book are some profiles, and for the Burma campaign, there are two.
1) A Lee of C squadron 3rd Carabiniers in Burma in '44, with the longer 75mm barrel, a red circle with troop number on the rear of the turred side, smoke lauchers on the left turred side, mech screen over the engine deck, and a large hand pained star on the left front side, just in front of the door.
2) A Lee of C squadron 150th reg. RAC, Burma 1945.
This Lee has a blue circle on the rear of the turred side, sandbags on the engine deck, a name unther the driver's side vision port (In this case CALEDONIAN.), tracks welded to the front plates, a iron plate over the tracks just unther the left acces door, and a small white star just before the left acces door. This tank also shows the remainders of smoke launchers at the left side of the turred.

These profiles are only of the left side, and of the 2 photo's of Lee's in Burma, one if from the left front side, and the other tank from the right, but this tank has large woden poles attached to the side, so no telling about the right side markings...

Does anyone know what type of hatch the British Lee's had? Were they sherman hatches?

Uyraell
02-17-2009, 04:36 AM
There is an Osprey New Vanguard book about the M3 Lee/Grant.
In April 1941 the Indian 1st (later 251st) armoured brigade received a hand full of Grandt's, while the 2nd, later 252nd, received both Lee's and Grant's.The 251st got M-4 A4 Shermans before going into action, and the 252nd went to Persia with the 31st armoured division with 2 regiments of Grants, and then moved into Iraq were they were given Shermans in May '43.

The 254th Indian tank brigade however started to get Grants and Lee's in the summer of 1943 for 2 of their regiments, 3rd Carabiniers and 150 Regiment RAC. Both regiments fought at Kohima and Imphal in 44-45. Also, 25th Dragoons went into action with their Lee`s along the burmees coast when the second Arakan offencive took place, and two squadrons were enclosed in a box at Sinzewa with 7 division by the Japanees Ha-Go attack. The remaining squadron supported the 5th division to relieve the box. In February 1944 crews started experimenting with defences against magnetic mines, who could penetrate roof and rear armour of the Lee.

3rd Carabiniers successes in Burma let for a call for new Lee unids, and these were created. 3rd Carabiniers and 150 reg. RAC remained with their Lee's, as did some new employed, sutch as the new 146 reg. RAC, and possibly 149 reg. RAC, but I can't be sure of the last regiment.

Also in the book are some profiles, and for the Burma campaign, there are two.
1) A Lee of C squadron 3rd Carabiniers in Burma in '44, with the longer 75mm barrel, a red circle with troop number on the rear of the turred side, smoke lauchers on the left turred side, mech screen over the engine deck, and a large hand pained star on the left front side, just in front of the door.
2) A Lee of C squadron 150th reg. RAC, Burma 1945.
This Lee has a blue circle on the rear of the turred side, sandbags on the engine deck, a name unther the driver's side vision port (In this case CALEDONIAN.), tracks welded to the front plates, a iron plate over the tracks just unther the left acces door, and a small white star just before the left acces door. This tank also shows the remainders of smoke launchers at the left side of the turred.

These profiles are only of the left side, and of the 2 photo's of Lee's in Burma, one if from the left front side, and the other tank from the right, but this tank has large woden poles attached to the side, so no telling about the right side markings...

Does anyone know what type of hatch the British Lee's had? Were they sherman hatches?
Essentially, the turret cupola hatch was the same as on a Sherman M4.
at least, that is as I understand the topic. There are variations in details such as internal locking latches, but unless you are doing an extremely detailed scale model, these are minor matters.

Regards, Uyraell.

Uyraell
02-17-2009, 04:38 AM
There is an Osprey New Vanguard book about the M3 Lee/Grant.
In April 1941 the Indian 1st (later 251st) armoured brigade received a hand full of Grandt's, while the 2nd, later 252nd, received both Lee's and Grant's.The 251st got M-4 A4 Shermans before going into action, and the 252nd went to Persia with the 31st armoured division with 2 regiments of Grants, and then moved into Iraq were they were given Shermans in May '43.

The 254th Indian tank brigade however started to get Grants and Lee's in the summer of 1943 for 2 of their regiments, 3rd Carabiniers and 150 Regiment RAC. Both regiments fought at Kohima and Imphal in 44-45. Also, 25th Dragoons went into action with their Lee`s along the burmees coast when the second Arakan offencive took place, and two squadrons were enclosed in a box at Sinzewa with 7 division by the Japanees Ha-Go attack. The remaining squadron supported the 5th division to relieve the box. In February 1944 crews started experimenting with defences against magnetic mines, who could penetrate roof and rear armour of the Lee.

3rd Carabiniers successes in Burma let for a call for new Lee unids, and these were created. 3rd Carabiniers and 150 reg. RAC remained with their Lee's, as did some new employed, sutch as the new 146 reg. RAC, and possibly 149 reg. RAC, but I can't be sure of the last regiment.

Also in the book are some profiles, and for the Burma campaign, there are two.
1) A Lee of C squadron 3rd Carabiniers in Burma in '44, with the longer 75mm barrel, a red circle with troop number on the rear of the turred side, smoke lauchers on the left turred side, mech screen over the engine deck, and a large hand pained star on the left front side, just in front of the door.
2) A Lee of C squadron 150th reg. RAC, Burma 1945.
This Lee has a blue circle on the rear of the turred side, sandbags on the engine deck, a name unther the driver's side vision port (In this case CALEDONIAN.), tracks welded to the front plates, a iron plate over the tracks just unther the left acces door, and a small white star just before the left acces door. This tank also shows the remainders of smoke launchers at the left side of the turred.

These profiles are only of the left side, and of the 2 photo's of Lee's in Burma, one if from the left front side, and the other tank from the right, but this tank has large woden poles attached to the side, so no telling about the right side markings...

Does anyone know what type of hatch the British Lee's had? Were they sherman hatches?

Essentially, the turret cupola hatch was the same as on a Sherman M4.
At least, that is as I understand the topic. There are variations in details such as internal locking latches, but unless you are doing an extremely detailed scale model, these are minor matters.

Regards, Uyraell.

Rising Sun*
02-17-2009, 04:46 AM
Brazilians? wtf? More info required.

Which demonstrates my point about their contribution being ignored.

Although it's not my favourite source, Wiki gives a fair account here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_Expeditionary_Force_(FEB)#Curios

Brazil also contributed various land bases within Brazil to the Allied effort.

Uyraell
02-17-2009, 06:22 AM
The Road To Mandalay

Not sure about the white star insignia?

http://www.military-art.com/mall/images/dhm862.jpg

From memory, by an Agreement, the white Star insignia became Standard Allied Recognition pattern by about the time of the Sicily landings.

Wiser heads than mine may be able to confirm that.

Warm Regards, Uyraell.

jopped
02-17-2009, 05:02 PM
According to the Osprey book, white stars were carried on the left side, as is confirmed by a photo of a Lee from C squadron, 150th reg. RAC, named CALEDONIAN. No information is given about the right side, but I suspect the star was there.

Cheers,
Joppe

32Bravo
02-20-2009, 04:04 AM
The British also used Shermans. Particular in the capture and defence of Meiktila:

A Squadron Probyn’s Horse 255th Tank Brigade (attached) – reinforcement – start rolling turn 4

1 Command Sherman

1 Sherman

1 Recce Humber Mk-IV – attached from 16th Light Cavalry

1 Infantry Stand – attached from B Coy 4/4th Bombay Grenadiers

1 15cwt Truck

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/1841766984/ref=sib_dp_pt#reader-link

I think the picture in the link confirms the use of the white star by allied troops?

jopped
02-20-2009, 04:39 PM
Jup. I have a book called: The hell of Burma. (It's in Dutch). In it, are a few photo's of armour. One of them is a M3A1 Stuart tank with an aparantly Indian crew. On the next photo, there is a convoy, with at least two Sherman III's. The AoS is 53, on an apparent red square, and a white line unthernead. Then next are two trucks, (one of them might be a Dodge WC-51 or 52, any confirmation on this?), and then there is another Sherman III. It's far away and a bit behind a cloud of dust, but it seems to have a white star on the hull side.

Also in the book is a photo of a M-7 Priest 105 self propelled howitzer, with a crew running towards it. The crew weares Australian hats, and the landscape seems like that on a Burmees plain...

Hope this is of any relevance.

Cheers,
Joppe

32Bravo
02-21-2009, 12:24 PM
Jup. I have a book called: The hell of Burma. (It's in Dutch). In it, are a few photo's of armour. One of them is a M3A1 Stuart tank with an aparantly Indian crew. On the next photo, there is a convoy, with at least two Sherman III's. The AoS is 53, on an apparent red square, and a white line unthernead. Then next are two trucks, (one of them might be a Dodge WC-51 or 52, any confirmation on this?), and then there is another Sherman III. It's far away and a bit behind a cloud of dust, but it seems to have a white star on the hull side.

Also in the book is a photo of a M-7 Priest 105 self propelled howitzer, with a crew running towards it. The crew weares Australian hats, and the landscape seems like that on a Burmees plain...

Hope this is of any relevance.

Cheers,
Joppe

As far as I'm concerned, it's certainly of interest. Ta!

jopped
02-21-2009, 02:59 PM
Here's another piece of history of British armour in the Pacific. The link goes to the history site of the 7th armoured brigade.

There's a piece about Burma.

http://www.desertrat.brigades.btinternet.co.uk/7thAB1942.htm#JapBurma

Some pic's of the Honeys in the Jungle would be cool,..

Cheers,
Joppe

jopped
02-21-2009, 03:13 PM
Maybe a bit off topic, and maybe already mentioned, but here is a site to the use of M-3
Stuarts in New Guinea in 1942-43 by Australia. Might be of interest as they were marked and dealed with just like the British tanks.

http://anzacsteel.hobbyvista.com/Armoured%20Vehicles/m3inactionph_1.htm

Cheers,
Joppe

Nickdfresh
02-21-2009, 07:15 PM
I never imagined this thread would make more than two pages and we're on page five...

Great posting and links! Thanks.

leccy
02-22-2009, 04:23 PM
A few links

Jungle Armour: British and Indian Army Shermans in the Far East (Colour and Markings Series) is written by Dennis Oliver and apart from many previously unpublished photos also includes many full-color profiles on both Indian and British Shermans

Little pics of some Shermans

http://www.ww2incolor.com/other/hrphot_04c-11.html
http://www.wewerethere.defencedynamics.mod.uk/ww2/india_1.html
http://www.wewerethere.defencedynamics.mod.uk/ww2/india_4.html

Found this one quite interesting for units and the Vehicles they had

http://www.fireandfury.com/orbats/paccommonwealth_burma.pdf

Iron Yeoman
02-22-2009, 05:35 PM
Rommel rated the New Zealand Division as the best Commonwealth (including the Brits) troops his men faced in North Africa. Maori troops would do insane things - like reaching up from a trench after a tank had rolled over it, and dropping a grenade inside the track; once the vehicle had been stopped, the Maori would swarm all over it, shooting the crew, dropping more grenades down the crew hatch, generally disabling the vehicle. The Kiwis punched well above their weight. Brazilians? wtf? More info required.

Cheers,
Cliff

Slightly off topic, I wear a Kiwi fearn on my No.2s dress after my regiment served as part of the 2nd NZ division in africa and we were the first unit in the division to break through the enemy's lines at the second battle of El Alamein, we also still have Kiwi fearn's stenciled on our vehicles.


Back on topic; as the Pacific theatre had a very humid weather system and with monsoons etc, what sort of effect did this have on the AFVs? I'd be interested to know what the attriton rate was for breakdowns/rust etc in that theatre compared to Europe and Africa.

32Bravo
02-23-2009, 04:30 PM
For those that might have missed it:

http://worldatwar.net/article/thisislondon/slim.jpg

32Bravo
02-23-2009, 04:44 PM
British and Japanese Military Leadership in the Far Eastern War, 1941-45
By Brian Bond, Kyōichi Tachikawa


"At the time of the first Arakan campaign, over the winter of 1942-43, the British command, despite the advice of the Armoured Corps, ignored previous lessons and made pitiful use of tanks in 'penny-packets', without proper coordination with the infantry, losing them to no avail. By 1944, fired by the example of the Australians in the New Guinea campaign, Slim, by then commanding the Fourteenth Army, was determined that they should be used properly, and considerable training and experimentation in combined arms and tactics had been undertaken. At Imphal, the 23rd Indian Division had focussed on training with armour..."

Page 101.

http://books.google.com/books?id=n0dgLwmcvqAC&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=british+armour+imphal&source=bl&ots=QUVtHXczgm&sig=-TlozCORTq_EpCY3-QkPb5_laMs&hl=en&ei=0RWjSdzWJ-LBjAexjZnuCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPA101,M1

R Mark Davies
10-14-2009, 08:18 AM
I'm going to break this post up into small chunks, as my flippin' work computer crashed after fifteen minutes of frantic typing! :evil:

Singapore:

The British had the 100th Independent Squadron, RAC in Singapore, equipped with Mk IV and Mk VI Light Tanks. These were no match for the weight of Japanese armour sent against them, however. The Malays also had a squadron of Lanchester Armoured Cars, while the Indian 3rd Light Cavalry were equipped with Marmon-Herrington Armoured Cars. However, the 3rd LC do not seem to have managed to get the M-Hs unloaded from their ship and fought instead as motorised infantry. The Australians however, managed to get their hands on some India Pattern MkII Wheeled Armoured Carriers.

Hong Kong:

No tanks, but the HKVDC had a very active squadron of Lanchester armoured cars and a squadron of Carriers (the Indians and Royal Scots also had some Carriers), against which the invading Japanese had very little defence, having lost the bulk of their antitank guns during the landing.

R Mark Davies
10-14-2009, 08:40 AM
Burma (1942 - the Japanese Invasion):

There were initially no tanks in Burma, though the Burma Auxiliary Force had a squadron of antiquated Rolls Royce India Pattern Armoured Cars. However, the 7th Armoured Brigade soon arrived in Rangoon (straight from North Africa) and performed sterling service throughout the long retreat to the Chindwin. The brigade was equipped with two regiments of Stuart, plus a 25pdr battery and an antitank battery, though it was hampered by a near-complete lack of 37mm HE ammo and the fact that the thirsty Stuarts required rather specialised aviation fuel.

7th Armoured Brigade made short work of their initial armoured opposition at Pegu (five Type 95 Ha Go light tanks of the Japanese 2nd Armoured Regiment that had survived the long march from Thailand), though the balance was redressed once the Japanese gained air superiority and was tipped even further when they took Rangoon and landed their reinforcement army, which included the 1st & 14th Tank Regiments, plus a number of independent tankette companies and armoured cavalry squadrons. The Japanese also rapidly made use of captured Stuarts.

7th Armoured Brigade managed to reach the Chindwin with over seventy Stuarts, but only managed to successfully ferry one of them across the river. This surviving Stuart, named 'The Revenge of Scotland' actually returned across the Chindwin in 1945, minus its turret, as the command tank for an Indian Light Cavalry Regiment. The remaining tanks were 'scuttled' reasonably successfully, with only a few being recovered by the Japanese. Five of these recovered Stuarts later fought at Imphal in 1944, where they formed the 5th Company of the Japanese 14th Tank Regiment (along with a freshly-captured 3rd Carabiniers' Lee).

Burma 1942/43 - the First Arakan Campaign:

A single regiment of Valentines from 50th Indian Tank Brigade (I think it was 150th RAC?) was involved in Irwin's disastrous Arakan offensive. Only a single half-squadron saw any action.

R Mark Davies
10-14-2009, 09:00 AM
India/Burma 1943-45:

With the elevation of Slim to command 14th Army, three Indian Armoured Brigades were placed in direct support. These details are from memory, but the full details are available on that Fire & Fury Games link above (which I wrote, but can't access here from work):

50th Indian Tank Brigade supported XV Corps on the Arakan Coast, though was never committed to battle as a unified brigade due to the very difficult, swampy nature of the Arakan coastal strip. It had a regiment each of Stuart, Lee and Sherman, with each regiment being committed to battle in rotation - Lee/Grants in the Second Arakan Campaign, Shermans in the Third Arakan Campaign and Stuarts in between. XV Corps also had the use of the 81st West African Recce Regiment (Carriers and LRCs) under direct command while 81st Div was engaged on light infantry operations in the Kaladan Valley.

254th Indian Armoured Brigade supported IV Corps at Imphal and was equipped with (if I recall) two regiments of Lee/Grant and a regiment of Stuarts. IV Corps also had at least one regiment of armoured cars at all times, though other regiments came and went (equipped with Daimlers, Humbers or occasionally both, as well as Dingos and dismountable elements in Carriers and/or Jeeps). There were also armoured replacement squadrons (each of 5 tanks) at the Dimapur depot, which were rushed into action when the Japanese cut the Imphal-Dimapur road at Kohima.

255th Indian Armoured Brigade was assigned to XXXIII Corps, which spent a long time sitting around in India (with the amphibious assualt divisions - 2nd & 36th), waiting for the planned Operation 'Dracula' - the reconquest of Malaya. However, 'Dracula' never came and XXXIII Corps was transferred to the Imphal theatre of operations, to spearhead the pursuit of the defeated Japanese armies into Burma. The brigade had two Sherman regiments and an armoured car/recce regiment.

After disastrous beginnings, the British/Indian armour supporting 14th Army proved itself time and time again. Its finest hour came in 1945, when 255th Indian Armoured Brigade and 17th Indian Division launched their 'Blitzkrieg' actross the Irrawaddy and thrust deep into the central Burmese plain, taking the city of Meiktila, cutting the Japanese Burma Area Army in two and then launching armoured operations out from the city, defeating each of the counter-attacking Japanese divisions in detail, one after the other, in a battle of 'interior lines' reminiscent of Frederick the Great or Napoleon at their best.

R Mark Davies
10-14-2009, 09:14 AM
Re Priests: There were at least two regiments of Priests operating in Burma in 1945. they had originally been part of XXXIII Corps and the assault force for the projected Opetration 'Dracula'. I'll check, but I think they were allocated one each to the AGRAs supprting IV and XXXIII Corps.

Re Other armoured oddities: Each armoured brigade also had a troop of bridgelayers. These were most probably Valentines, though one source suggests Covenanter bridgelayers. Each brigade also had a mysterious 'Valentine Scorpion Troop' that may well have been an unknown Scorpion flail conversion of the Valentine, though one source suggests that they were flamethrower tanks. I've been totally unable to establish the facts and have found no references either to flail or flame tanks in action.

Re markings: As far as I can tell, the three brigades conformed to the standard 1944-45 armoured brigade AoS marking system of 50, 51, 52 and 53, with 54 being allocated to the supporting motor battalions of the Bombay Grenadiers. AoS's were normally red, though I've also come across white underlining to indicate Army troops, white overlining to indicate Corps troops and even an unusual AoS marking of red-over-yellow (Deccan Horse, 255th Armoured Brigade 1943). Allied Stars were applied in 1945 to reduce the incidence mainly of friendly fire by aircraft and were often VERY large - sometimes filling the entire side of a Lee or Sherman. I presume that this must have been due to oversized stencils, as stars painted on the smaller surfaces of Carriers, Stuarts and armoured cars often had their points 'cropped' by the edges of the vehicle!

Rising Sun*
10-14-2009, 09:27 AM
Singapore:

The British had the 100th Independent Squadron, RAC in Singapore, equipped with Mk IV and Mk VI Light Tanks. These were no match for the weight of Japanese armour sent against them, however.

My recollection, without consulting references, is that the Commonwealth forces in Malaya had no tanks against about 200 Japanese tanks in Malaya.

Your post might be consistent with there being no Commonwealth tanks during the Malayan fighting, or perhaps debate about what amounts to a tank, or the tanks you mention being on Singapore at the end when they were virtually useless.

Did the 100th Ind. Sqn. actually fight their tanks in Malaya, or were they confined to Singapore?

Did they fight their tanks on Singapore?

R Mark Davies
10-14-2009, 09:41 AM
That's a very good question and one I don't know the answer to. It certainly would seem that they stayed on Singapore.

PS I recently came across a different squadron number for the same unit (32nd iirc).

Australia: As someone has mentioned above, they used Matildas during the latter half of the war with Japan. These included the 'Frog' flamethrower variant and the truly terrifying 'Hedgehog' which was fitted with a naval depth-charge dispersing multiple-mortar! They also operated Stuarts toward the end of the war and had Churchill regiments training in Australia, though were never used in anger.

New Zealand: When the NZ 3rd Division was committed to the Pacific during mopping up operations in 1945, the division included the 3rd NZ Independent Tank Squadron, equipped with Valentines. Troops were organised as two 2pdr tanks and one 3-inch close support tank.

Something else worth mentioning is that the British Army sent its entire stocks of 37mm and 2pdr Canister rounds for use in the Far East (the US 37mm Canister round could be fired through a 2pdr). These rounds equipped Australian and New Zealand tanks in the Pacific, as well as British/Indian units.

R Mark Davies
10-14-2009, 08:34 PM
Re Dodge WC-51/52:

Dodge Weapons Carriers were widely used by the British/Indian 14th Army in Burma, alongside Jeeps and CMP 15cwts. Dodge WCs were often classified as '15 cwt' in official returns, so it's easy to miss them, but they were definitely there and appear a great deal in photos. For example, 153 (Gurkha) Para Bn war diary records how it commandeered twenty Dodge 15 cwts in order to get itself to the Brigade concentration position at Sangshak.

jopped
10-17-2009, 04:33 PM
Very cool information all! Thanks very much!

Cheers,
Joppe

Timbo in Oz
02-15-2010, 09:11 PM
(the US 37mm Canister round could be fired through a 2pdr)

Really?

the 2pdr is a 40mm gun and considerably more powerful than the US 37mm, firing a heavier shot quite a bit faster out the muzzle. So the cartridge case is going to be bigger. IIRC the most powerful of the small AT guns that began the war. Round was a 40×304 mm. R(immed)

37MM m3? fixed round was 37×223 mm. Rimmed.

I doubt the case would have sealed the breach even when fired! Extraction?

I note that posters have identified that M4's were used in Burma, and would have been much more effective at dealing with bunkers, which came in interlocking systems. ?

I don't doubt that M3's were used on bunkers but the M4 would have been better.

With a traversing 75mm in a thicker turret - wouldn't have to have moved so often to engage each bunker, less work for the infantry to prepare hull-down positions, and in protecting the crew.

I hate bunker systems. Bastard things, too often found by walking IN to them.

R Mark Davies
02-26-2010, 07:58 AM
Good point Timbo. that nugget came from one of Bryan Perrett's books and as you say, is probably bollocks. In any case, it's a moot point, as virtually everything out east, aside from the odd Daimler armoured car, Matilda and Valentine was using 37mm rather than 2pdr.

Yes, three regiments of Shermans served in Burma - two in 255th Indian Tank Brigade and one in 50th Indian Tank Brigade. One Lee squadron was also converted to Sherman when it transferred temporarily from 254th Indian Tank Brigade at Imphal to the Arakan.

Nevertheless, the four regiments of Lee/Grants (and the two regiments of Stuarts) in the Burma campaign gave sterling service and the Japanese had very little answer to them.

R Mark Davies
02-26-2010, 08:14 AM
British and Japanese Military Leadership in the Far Eastern War, 1941-45
By Brian Bond, Kyōichi Tachikawa


"At the time of the first Arakan campaign, over the winter of 1942-43, the British command, despite the advice of the Armoured Corps, ignored previous lessons and made pitiful use of tanks in 'penny-packets', without proper coordination with the infantry, losing them to no avail. By 1944, fired by the example of the Australians in the New Guinea campaign, Slim, by then commanding the Fourteenth Army, was determined that they should be used properly, and considerable training and experimentation in combined arms and tactics had been undertaken. At Imphal, the 23rd Indian Division had focussed on training with armour..."

Page 101.

http://books.google.com/books?id=n0dgLwmcvqAC&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=british+armour+imphal&source=bl&ots=QUVtHXczgm&sig=-TlozCORTq_EpCY3-QkPb5_laMs&hl=en&ei=0RWjSdzWJ-LBjAexjZnuCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPA101,M1

'Inspired by the Australian example?' Is Bond an Australian author by any chance?

Slim was advocating decisive masses of armour when he commanded I Burma Corps in 1942 an again when he commanded XV Corps from 1942 to 1943. However, he was parachuted in to an awful situation in 1942, so the the desired result was often difficult to achieve (though 7th Armoured Brigade did their best). Irwin sidelined Slim in First Arakan during the winter of 1942-43, so only a single half-squadron of Valentines was used (to Slim's recorded disgust).

When Slim took over 14th Army in 1943, armour and air co-operation were very high on the training agenda. To be honest, I'm not even sure that Slim was even aware of what had been happening tactically in PNG.

(incidentally, I forgot to mention earlier that the Australians used Stuarts early on in PNG - at Buna).

I've done more digging on Priests in Burma and have determined that only one regiment - 18 Field Regiment - was deployed to 14th Army. The other Priest Regiment remained in India. 18 Fd Regt was attached to 2nd Division (along with the reserve squadrons of 254th Tank Brigade) and first saw action at Kohima. Its Sherman OP tanks also gave support with their own 75mm guns. Once Kohima was relieved, the regiment again saw action at Imphal and supported the assault crossing of the Irrawaddy (now atatched to 255th Tank Brigade) before joining the armoured 'blitzkrieg' to Meiktila.

I've written this since last posting on here. It might be useful:

http://www.fireandfury.com/orbats/burmaarmypaintingguide.pdf

Rising Sun*
02-26-2010, 09:15 AM
To be honest, I'm not even sure that Slim was even aware of what had been happening tactically in PNG.


He was acutely aware of it and used it to inspire himself and his troops in the face of previously unstoppable Japanese assaults and advances, as this shows.


"Australian troops had, at Milne Bay in New Guinea, inflicted on the Japanese their first undoubted defeat on land. If the Australians, in conditions very like ours, had done it, so could we. Some of us may forget that of all the Allies it was the Australian soldiers who first broke the spell of the invincibility of the Japanese Army; those of us who were in Burma have cause to remember."

Field Marshal W. Slim, Defeat into Victory, (London, 1956), pp.187-8

R Mark Davies
02-26-2010, 09:22 AM
I appreciate that in general terms the Australian example was inspiring, but I was talking about the tactical lessons of the use of armour against the Japanese, rather than more general terms of inspiration. Slim was already implementing tactical reform long before 1944 and even before the Australians defeated the Japanese in PNG (which seems to be what was suggested by the original quotation).

Rising Sun*
02-26-2010, 09:26 AM
I appreciate that in general terms the Australian example was inspiring, but I was talking about the tactical lessons of the use of armour against the Japanese, rather than more general terms of inspiration. Slim was already implementing tactical reform long before 1944 and even before the Australians defeated the Japanese in PNG (which seems to be what was suggested by the original quotation).

Fair enough.

I misunderstood you to be saying that Slim wasn't aware of the PNG campaign.

I agree that in general armour wasn't a major factor in Australian or Allied, because the Americans were heavily involved there from 1943 onwards, activities in PNG.

32Bravo
02-27-2010, 03:09 PM
I'm going to break this post up into small chunks, as my flippin' work computer crashed after fifteen minutes of frantic typing! :evil:

Singapore:

The British had the 100th Independent Squadron, RAC in Singapore, equipped with Mk IV and Mk VI Light Tanks. These were no match for the weight of Japanese armour sent against them, however. The Malays also had a squadron of Lanchester Armoured Cars, while the Indian 3rd Light Cavalry were equipped with Marmon-Herrington Armoured Cars. However, the 3rd LC do not seem to have managed to get the M-Hs unloaded from their ship and fought instead as motorised infantry. The Australians however, managed to get their hands on some India Pattern MkII Wheeled Armoured Carriers.

Hong Kong:

No tanks, but the HKVDC had a very active squadron of Lanchester armoured cars and a squadron of Carriers (the Indians and Royal Scots also had some Carriers), against which the invading Japanese had very little defence, having lost the bulk of their antitank guns during the landing.



The 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders also used Lanchesters, to some effect, as they retreated down the Malay peninnsular. They were eventually defeated by japanese armour, but only after they hadd done much to delay and confuse the Japanesee advance.

32Bravo
02-27-2010, 03:48 PM
'Inspired by the Australian example?' Is Bond an Australian author by any chance?

Quite possibly. I really have no idea. What do you think?



Slim was advocating decisive masses of armour when he commanded I Burma Corps in 1942

Yes, but the reality of the logisitics and supply situation at that time...

Slim had hoped to annihilate his opponents on the Schwebo Plain (catching the Japanese with their backs to Irrawaddy River), where he could have used his armour to greatest effect in a battle of maneuver. However, Kimura wasn't playing the game and crossed the Irrawaddy to defend its eastern bank. So the British and Imperial troops were forced to continue to use tanks mainly in Troop and Squadron formations to spearhead their attacks. Even with this setback to his plans, Slim fought what is considered his definitive battle with the crossing of the Irrawaddy and the taking of Meiktila.

R Mark Davies
02-27-2010, 06:40 PM
The events referred to are 1944 and not 1942.

However, following on from that passage... Having been denied the chance to destroy the Japanese west of the Irrawaddy and having then crossed the river himself (building the longest Bailey Bridge in the world to that date, despite the logistical issues), Slim sent his armour to 'blitzkrieg' their way across the Burmese Dry Belt to Meiktila - the strategic heart of the country. There they fought a superb defensive battle of interior lines - using decisive masses of armour with mobile columns of infantry and artillery that would strike out from the city to defeat attacking Japanese columns in isolation and in detail.

32Bravo
02-28-2010, 06:14 AM
The events referred to are 1944 and not 1942.

I would hazard that anyone with just a passing interest in this theatre would be aware of the dates.



However, following on from that passage...

Which passage?



Having been denied the chance to destroy the Japanese west of the Irrawaddy and having then crossed the river himself (building the longest Bailey Bridge in the world to that date, despite the logistical issues), Slim sent his armour to 'blitzkrieg' their way across the Burmese Dry Belt to Meiktila - the strategic heart of the country. There they fought a superb defensive battle of interior lines - using decisive masses of armour with mobile columns of infantry and artillery that would strike out from the city to defeat attacking Japanese columns in isolation and in detail.

It all sounds very sensational. Could you supply a more detaled description of unit strength (perhaps from regimental histories), numbers and formations of tanks and infantry troops etc. that were involved in these actions?

R Mark Davies
02-28-2010, 03:07 PM
I would hazard that anyone with just a passing interest in this theatre would be aware of the dates.

I agree. In that case, why did you reply to my comment regarding the situation in 1942 with a quote referring to 1944?


Which passage

I was referring to the last passage you quoted from - re Slim's attempt to trap the Japanese in the Shwebo Plain and the subsequent assault crossing of the Irrawaddy.


It all sounds very sensational. Could you supply a more detaled description of unit strength (perhaps from regimental histories), numbers and formations of tanks and infantry troops etc. that were involved in these actions?

Unfortunately I'm not aware of any published histories for the regiments involved and there is no published history for 17th Indian Division or 255th Indian Tank Brigade. However, the Indian Armoured Corps History covers the actions of the 5th (Probyn's) Horse, 9th (Royal Deccan) Horse and 16th )PAVO) Light Cavalry pretty well and the war diary for 9th Borders and its actions at Pyawbwe and Wetlet, south of Meiktila, as well as the usual sources for the campaign - Slim, Woodburn-Kirby, Allen, etc.

After a complex deception plan, involving the switching of IV Corps from the left to the right flank, plus various feints by XXXIII Corps on the Irrawaddy north and south of Mandalay and a faked withdrawal by 28 East African Brigade, sufficient Japanese forces had been drawn away from the Meiktila area for IV Corps to launch an assault crossing of the Irrawaddy. 7th Indian Division conducted the assault crossing on 14 Feb 45 and the elements of 255 Indian Tank Brigade were also across by the end of the first day.

17 Indian Division (less 99 Brigade) followed - their mission was to break out and drive for Meiktila - 81 miles/132km distant. 17 Division was split into three columns - 'Tomforce' was the divisional recce force, being formed from the armoured cars of 16th (PAVO) LC, the divisional reconnaissance battalion (motorised infantry) and other divisional elements. 63 Brigade would meanwhile take the southern route, supported by Shermans Probyn's Horse, while 48 Brigade would take the northern route, supported by the Shermans of the Royal Deccan Horse. 99 Brigade meanwhile was standing by, waiting to be airlifted into Meiktila.

Gotta go, sorry...

32Bravo
03-02-2010, 04:06 AM
I agree. In that case, why did you reply to my comment regarding the situation in 1942 with a quote referring to 1944?
I think we're confusing each other here. My point was that in 1942 the situation with Imperial Forces in Burma was such that any discussion of armour at the time was academic.

It would have been difficult for anyone with a modicum of intelligence not to be impressed by the way the Germans had stormed across Europe and, therefore not be speaking of it in 1942.

To be fair, Slim was the type of general who would have more than likely been studying the modern concepts of armoured warfare back in the thirties if not before.

Slim looked for inspiration from every quarter and I think it more than probable that he had found some inspiration in the Australian use of armour in PNG however small the actions in which they partook.



I was referring to the last passage you quoted from - re Slim's attempt to trap the Japanese in the Shwebo Plain and the subsequent assault crossing of the Irrawaddy.

Those were my own comments, not a passage I was quoting.



Unfortunately I'm not aware of any published histories for the regiments involved and there is no published history for 17th Indian Division or 255th Indian Tank Brigade. However, the Indian Armoured Corps History covers the actions of the 5th (Probyn's) Horse, 9th (Royal Deccan) Horse and 16th )PAVO) Light Cavalry pretty well and the war diary for 9th Borders and its actions at Pyawbwe and Wetlet, south of Meiktila, as well as the usual sources for the campaign - Slim, Woodburn-Kirby, Allen, etc.

Some of the 'grass roots' histories can be equally benficial. If you have not read it (as I appreciate you are well read ;)), try George McDonald Fraser

http://books.google.com/books?id=gLmFT_vRMd4C&pg=PA62&lpg=PA62&dq=George+Mcdonald+frasier+quartered+safe+out+here&source=bl&ots=EGEarRKd4a&sig=uvnKh4SucZohO_4sTighhMbkGQE&hl=en&ei=kNOMS4ycLcyQjAeqyIDhCw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAcQ6AEwAA

The Little Men is also very good
http://www.library.southlanarkshire.gov.uk/02_Catalogue/02_005_TitleInformation.aspx?searchTerm=Little+men&searchTerm2=&searchType=1&media=3&branch=&authority=&language=&junior=&fr=tl&rcn=070904710X

As is The Relutant major

http://www.wslg.wa.gov.au/Clarelibweb/webquery.dll?v1=pbMarc&v2=gemma%20malley&v4=347927&v5=3X&v8=347928&v9=0&v10=N&v11=756349&v13=4B&v20=4&v23=0&v25=Atkins,%20David.&v27=69631&v35=%7B%5D0%5B%7D%7B%5D0%5B%7D%7B%5D0%5B%7D%7B%5D0 %5B%7D&v40=1937.0&v46=347928

There have been many others.

32Bravo
03-02-2010, 08:02 AM
By the way, all British regiments keep regimental histories. I don't know where youare based, but the reading room of the National Army Museum is a good source for practically all of them including disbanded regiments.

http://www.national-army-museum.ac.uk/

Rising Sun*
03-02-2010, 08:55 AM
Slim looked for inspiration from every quarter and I think it more than probable that he had found some inspiration in the Australian use of armour in PNG however small the actions in which they partook.

So far as the defence of Milne Bay is concerned, he would have drawn much more from it about air cooperation with land forces as there wasn't any Allied armour there.

The Japanese landed some tanks, which did better than the defenders expected in the boggy ground, but they were eventually stopped by anti-tank ground forces.

However, air support was critical to the success of the Allies.

What was also critical to the Allied victory was that the battles were fought on a narrow strip between the sea and more or less sheer mountains, which resulted in the Australian ground forces fighting the Japanese on a generally limited front which deprived the Japanese of the advantage of their flanking and infiltration tactics which had been so successful elsewhere.

I don't know enough about Slim's thinking on this but there is a potential connection with his boxes in Burma where the defenders stood their ground supported by air, and armour when possible.

32Bravo
03-02-2010, 12:06 PM
Slim's inspiration for the boxes came from a Chinese general I forget his name, but Slim remarked that he was the only general he had met who had beaten the Japanese in battle. He asked the general how best to beat them and he recommended standing his ground and allow the japanese to waste themselves against the defences. Naturally, to do this in the jungles of South East Asia one would have to use the box system or something of the like. I think this fella recommended this but am not absolutely certain without looking it up.

I have a book, somewhere(?), with the Australians using Valentines in PNG. Will have a shufti this evening and see if I can find it.

Thanks for the info on the air thingie.

32Bravo
03-02-2010, 01:22 PM
Slim:



In Maymyo, I had talks with many staff officers, often old friends with whom I had served in years gone by, and attended several conferences, including one Chinese general who had played a great part in the only real victory the Chinese had won against the Japanese up to that time - Changsha. I drew him on one side and listened very carefully, through an interpreter, to his account of the tactics of the battle. His experience was that the Japanese, confident in their own prowess, frequently attacked on a very small administrative margin of safety. He estimated that a Japanese force would usually not have more than nine days' supplies available. If you could hold the Japanese for that time, prevent them from capturing your supplies, and then counte-attack them, you wold destroy them. I listened to him with interest - after all he was the only Allied commander I had heard of who had defeated the Japanese in even one battle. There were, of course, certain snags in the application of this theory, but I thought its main principles sound. I remebered it and, later, acted upon it.

Arguably, the main snag, of course, at the time, was the inability to resupply his own forces. As we know, this situation changed dramaticaly with the increase in both supplies and available aircraft to deliver them. When we speak of air supply, one cannot discount the influence and inspiration of Wingate in pioneering its use in Burma.

mkenny
03-02-2010, 02:57 PM
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e312/schwere/second%20one/1aaayFFFFF0002.jpg

Rising Sun*
03-03-2010, 08:17 AM
Thanks for the info on the air thingie.

Thanks for the info on the box thingie.

In a way it doesn't surprise me that the Japanese would have limited supplies for an attack against the Chinese as there was an element of "crash through or crash" in their thinking and tactics which expected quick results and was supplied accordingly, so they didn't cope too well when they were severely stalled, as happened in the Philippines on a much larger scale after Manila. Not that failing to cope with being severely stalled was peculiar to the Japanese.

Here's a very concise description of the air thingie in the general context of Milne Bay. http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ajrp/ajrp2.nsf/30017f4131c6b2acca256cfb0023646c/0fe6f2051919772aca256f500079c1c4?OpenDocument

User opinion on the Kittyhawks at Milne Bay. http://www.ww2australia.gov.au/asfaras/polly.html

Japanese troops pressed an airfield at Milne Bay to the extent that RAAF planes taking off were firing into Japanese positions at the end of the airfield almost before they were airborne., and receiving fire from those positions at the same time.

The CO of 76 Squadron, Bluey Truscott http://www.awm.gov.au/people/329.asp refused to obey an order to evacuate his squadron's planes from Milne Bay at a critical point as he felt the Australian diggers, and American engineers, would feel they were being deserted. In doing so he put the precious planes at risk. This raises a nice question of whether it was an inspirational morale-boosting (or maintaining) piece of defiance or an ill-considered decision which threatened the future of the Allied air support at a critical point. Here is the view of one his pilots at p. 352 http://books.google.com.au/books?id=oWx1oq8RPcQC&pg=PA352&lpg=PA352&dq=brune+%22a+bastard+of+a+place%22+truscott&source=bl&ots=l6r624DZzm&sig=Y0cXVpQWrjvv2EHnVrSXIohsIN0&hl=en&ei=gleOS73HAdCHkAXcnL3_DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false

32Bravo
03-03-2010, 05:40 PM
I think this might have been what I was getting at (I haven't found my book as yet). It would seem my tank identification isn't very good. :)


These forces were lacking in heavy anti-tank guns and the Matilda remained in service with several Australian regiments in the Australian 4th Armoured Brigade.
The Australian 4th Armoured Brigade was formed in January 1943 to provide armoured support for Australian Army units operating in the South West Pacific Area. The Brigade was never intended to serve as a single formation, rather its role was to provide a pool of armoured units from which units and...
, in the South West Pacific Area.
South West Pacific Area was the name given to the Allied supreme military command in the South West Pacific Theatre of World War II. It was one of four major Allied commands in the Pacific theatres of World War II, during 1942-45...
. They first saw active service in the Huon Peninsula.
Huon Peninsula is a large peninsula in Morobe Province, eastern Papua New Guinea, at . It is named after French explorer Jean-Michel Huon de Kermadec... campaign in October 1943. Matilda II tanks remained in action until the last day of the war in the Wewak, Bougainville and Borneo





A Matilda tank of "C" Squadron, 1st Tank Battalion, moves off an LCM, Launch Jetty, 8 November 1943. Altogether nine of "C" Squadron's tanks were brought forward to support an assault by the Australian 26th Brigade against the Japanese defences around Sattelberg Mountain. For five days (17-21 November) the Australians fought a vicious close-quarters battle against elements of the Japanese 80th Infantry Regiment. Although the Australians made significant gains during this operation the Japanese still held the Sattelberg at its end.

http://ajrp.awm.gov.au/ajrp/remember.nsf/Web-Printer/DCC89A53B99FB911CA256CB80026E162?OpenDocument

32Bravo
03-03-2010, 05:43 PM
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e312/schwere/second%20one/1aaayFFFFF0002.jpg

Thanks for this. Interesting stuff.

Bill
06-06-2010, 01:40 AM
(the US 37mm Canister round could be fired through a 2pdr)

Really?

the 2pdr is a 40mm gun and considerably more powerful than the US 37mm, firing a heavier shot quite a bit faster out the muzzle. So the cartridge case is going to be bigger. IIRC the most powerful of the small AT guns that began the war. Round was a 40×304 mm. R(immed)

37MM m3? fixed round was 37×223 mm. Rimmed.

I doubt the case would have sealed the breach even when fired! Extraction?

I note that posters have identified that M4's were used in Burma, and would have been much more effective at dealing with bunkers, which came in interlocking systems. ?

I don't doubt that M3's were used on bunkers but the M4 would have been better.

With a traversing 75mm in a thicker turret - wouldn't have to have moved so often to engage each bunker, less work for the infantry to prepare hull-down positions, and in protecting the crew.

I hate bunker systems. Bastard things, too often found by walking IN to them.

I can confirm the point about 37mm and 40mm being completly incompatible. The 37mm had a necked case, the 40mm 2 pr didn't. Not only would obturation have been impossible, but a 37mm would have just bounced around in a 2pr breech.

I did read somewhere, I think in Slim, that the Grant was popular in Burma. The 75mm gave good bunker busting rounds (AP followed by HE) and the 37mm had a cannister round, which the 75mm didn't. For bunker busting, you usually just trundle up to the bunker, so traverse isn't all that important. In thick jungle, the 37mm on top, with its relatively short barrel was easier to traverse - although a Sherman 75mm would have had less problems then a modern long tank gun

Nickdfresh
06-06-2010, 08:51 AM
The Grant, while very deficient against German armor, was ideally suited for infantry support against enemy infantry and battlefield fortifications...

32Bravo
07-17-2010, 02:14 PM
Providing - in Burma, with its nullahs, that is - there was recconnaicanse...

There were incidences in Burma of them leading attacks on villages, but being bogged down by driving into steep-sided nullahs and being unable to climb out. Working in samll troop detachments of three or four, each of them could become trapped.

They were, heowever, very good at bunker busting. As we know, the Japanese were excellent at cutting and blocking roads with bunkers and the tanks were the best weapon against this. Infantry were anihilated again and again when attempting to storm the bunkers without the tanks.