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Thread: New WWII Film 'Fury' Features Last Working Tiger

  1. #46
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    Default Re: New WWII Film 'Fury' Features Last Working Tiger

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    ... unless the turret was in the proper position, only the driver could make use of it.
    In many tanks is the reverse also true? That is, if the turret isn't in the correct position the driver (and I think is some cases and or other crew members) can't escape?

    If so, seems fair enough to give the driver an equal chance of escape. Given the training invested in producing a competent tank driver, it makes sense to try to preserve as many as possible for future use.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 10-09-2018 at 08:09 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
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  2. #47
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    Default Re: New WWII Film 'Fury' Features Last Working Tiger

    The Driver is nearly the most important crewman, a good one was a real gift from above. With some Tanks the turret position could keep the driver trapped, on ours if the Gun was straight over the Driver's Hatch in a down position, it would be tough to get out of it. The Turret Crew, Commander, Gunner, Loader, had 2 hatchways to use, and it wasn't that tough to get out except for the gunner, he was stuck down in the right front of the Turret, and had to wait for the commander to get out of the way in order to egress. The escape hatch was mostly for the Driver, and was directly under his seat. One tug of the red lever, and the seat folded up out of the way, and flip of one lever, and the hatch drops out. Were the tank to end up on it's roof, then the driver's hatch, and the escape hatch are the only ways out. as long as the turret machinery isn't in the way, the others can wiggle out of the turret space into the driver's compartment. Good reason to be on the thin side.

  3. #48
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    Default Re: New WWII Film 'Fury' Features Last Working Tiger

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    The Driver is nearly the most important crewman, a good one was a real gift from above.
    I was just mechanized infantry in an armoured unit, which was cavalry rather than tanks. The nearest I got to a driver was being flung around on top of and inside an M113 on tank courses, which was actually quite fun until it went on too long and seasickness afflicted some of the passengers inside, so I'm not qualified by experience to comment on driver importance.

    Nonetheless, I understood from those exalted beings who crewed our armoured vehicles (that we foot soldier grunts existed to recon well ahead of and clear roadblocks etc whenever and wherever there was any risk of a threat to these exalted beings and their armoured vehicles) that the greatest virtues of a driver were the ability to be kind to the vehicle and crew and, which was part of that kindness but a separate and more important skill, the ability to 'read ground'. This meant being able to see well ahead where best to go at all speeds, forward and reverse, so that the best route was chosen for tactical reasons and being kind to the vehicle and crew. It wasn't a skill possessed by all drivers, nor was it a skill which could be taught to all drivers.

    Your opinion on this?
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 10-10-2018 at 08:25 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  4. #49
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    Default Re: New WWII Film 'Fury' Features Last Working Tiger

    Very true, a good Driver could read terrain, avoid soft spots, they knew which plants usually covered soft ground, which is near to witchcraft. They also read terrain features for best mobility, and cover. The really good ones could pick a line of travel, and stick to it, where other were always going this way, or that not holding a formation well. Although it does happen, getting mired, or otherwise stuck in a terrain feature can be avoided by good Drivers. The Commander is supposed to keep watch for such troubles but has to do Commander things too, so can't always be watching the way ahead. Then, the loader can observe from the loftier perch, and help the Driver to go around problem areas. We were always happy to have some infantry along, and they were always happy to have some tanks nearby .Even though we always teased each other, they were invaluable in many situations, especially in close terrain, or towns. They would be kept in the carriers well behind us were we to use formations to attack in the open, which in the cold War days was what we trained for Broad sweeping attacks against the soviets in the Fulda Gap area, this after ambushing their lead units from afar. I also spent time in the M-113 APC, I attended the APC School right after Tank School, and we had an adventurous 2 weeks of learning all about them We even got to swim them , which is a pain, they do not handle at all well in water. At first all we managed to do was go in circles in a small lake, and wander around like a Bumble Bee trying to steer them, after a few days we got useful at it. They are great fun to drive, but being inside one is as you said, likely to give one seasickness when off road. The Tactical Driving test was tough too, having to negotiate all manner of obstacles, and conditions properly in order to pass.

  5. #50
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    Default Re: New WWII Film 'Fury' Features Last Working Tiger

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    We were always happy to have some infantry along, and they were always happy to have some tanks nearby.
    Our structure was that what I called above 'mechanized infantry' (technical term 'assault troop') were part of our armoured corps and, we thought, somewhat superior to mere infantry. Surprisingly, the mere infantry who perhaps for weeks at a time had to lug huge weights of personal supplies, ammunition, munitions, and sundry goods (which we carried on vehicles and generally didn't have to carry much more than basic webbing and ammunition as our forays were generally fairly short, as in a few hours at most, verge sweeps beside or ahead of an armoured column or advances of rarely more than a few hundred metres ahead of a column or vehicle to check and clear potential threats such as mines, bridges set with explosives, road blocks for ambushes, etc) thought we had it easy. And the poor bloody infantry were quite correct!

    Our sole purpose was to work with and under command of armour as part of armoured operations for the advancement and protection of armour, whereas our armoured operations with infantry were generally combined arms operations in support of infantry operations.

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    Even though we always teased each other, they were invaluable in many situations, especially in close terrain, or towns. They would be kept in the carriers well behind us were we to use formations to attack in the open, which in the cold War days was what we trained for Broad sweeping attacks against the soviets in the Fulda Gap area, this after ambushing their lead units from afar.
    Australia's high command and defence planners decided in the early 1950s that, unlike our WWII North Africa operations, Australia wasn't likely to be engaged in large scale open country warfare but was more likely to be engaged in close country and jungle warfare in South East Asia. This judgment proved to be correct.

    It was also recognised that Australia could not field anything remotely like the huge land and air forces required to resist a Soviet attack against Western Europe, nor could we make any useful contribution from our distance to what threatened to be a fairly short nuclear war.

    So we concentrated on what we could manage in our likely area of operations against potential enemies with significantly fewer resources than the Soviets, which turned out to be Vietnam, where our tanks were unlikely to be and in fact were not engaged in tank to tank battles (despite NVN tanks figuring heavily in film of the final downfall of SVN).

    Our Centurions played a very useful infantry support role in various operations in Vietnam, notably in bunker busting NVA / VC positions which would have chewed up much greater casualties on our side if attempted solely by infantry.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  6. #51
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    Default Re: New WWII Film 'Fury' Features Last Working Tiger

    Yeah, your Terrain would be very different to fight on, And varied a lot, from Jungles to the outback. Leg infantry would be needed in most of your Country, the Mechanized is a requirement for Armored Units that are always on the move. Get them where you want them, then turn them loose like a swarm of Jack Jumpers on the invaders. Follow that with an assault by the First Funnel Web division, and you're victorious. (Assuming General Crock Dundee left any for you) Your Military would have it's hands full if invaded in force, so many different types of fighting skills needed. Uncle Sugar would be there to help quick as could be managed, but I think your Guys could handle things pretty well. Australians are Respected by the American People.
    Vietnam wasn't an optimal environment for Armor with some exceptions, but we still had a lot of them around. The 113 Tracks were used more extensively in the Jungle being lighter, and able to a degree to protect the infantry inside though more often than not the grunts sat on top of the Tracks, and Tank crew usually stood in their Hatches so they would not get mashed up against the Hull, or Turret if a Mine, or B-40 (early RPG) was encountered. I knew to Tank Commanders that survived hits by B-40's, both were blown out of the Turret by the explosion, landing nearby on their backs. neither badly hurt, Murf, the bolder of the two, and a genuinely scary person, landed next to the driver, and was asked, hey Murf, you dead? he answered, I don't know,, are you dead? Murf continued being a very scary guy up till a Bounty was placed on him, and the Command folks sent him back to civilization. Murf was a slightly more evolved version of a Rock Ape. The other guy was slightly injured but remained on the job after which he was sent back, and assigned to the Unit I was in.

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