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Thread: British Use of Armour in the Pacific

  1. #91
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    Default Re: British Use of Armour in the Pacific

    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.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  2. #92
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    Default Re: British Use of Armour in the Pacific

    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.
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 03-02-2010 at 12:54 PM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  3. #93
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    Default Re: British Use of Armour in the Pacific


  4. #94
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    Default Re: British Use of Armour in the Pacific

    Quote Originally Posted by 32Bravo View Post
    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.ns...4?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=...age&q=&f=false
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  5. #95
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    Default Re: British Use of Armour in the Pacific

    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...2?OpenDocument


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  6. #96
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    Default Re: British Use of Armour in the Pacific

    Quote Originally Posted by mkenny View Post
    Thanks for this. Interesting stuff.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


  7. #97
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    Default Re: 37mm A/tK canister would fit a QF 2pdr? Bunkers and Grants vs Shermans

    Quote Originally Posted by Timbo in Oz View Post
    (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

  8. #98
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    Default Re: British Use of Armour in the Pacific

    The Grant, while very deficient against German armor, was ideally suited for infantry support against enemy infantry and battlefield fortifications...

  9. #99
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    Default Re: British Use of Armour in the Pacific

    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.
    Last edited by 32Bravo; 07-17-2010 at 01:18 PM.


    "Although God cannot alter the past, Historians can"


    Samuel Butler


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