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Crew of Knocked Out Tanks - WWII


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_PanzerKeil_ #1 Posted 15 May 2016 - 06:18 PM

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Okay just a question, how should Allied, Soviet and Axis tank crew act should their tanks get knocked out (and they happen to be still alive) in the middle of combat zone?

 

This question popped to my mind because I was watching Jingles reviewing a certain Israeli tank, and said that an experienced tank is more important than the tank itself, which was the design philosophy behind that tank. The same holds true for WWII Pilots (well at least single seat ones, America hated their bomber pilots and just threw them to their deaths), that an experienced pilot is worth more than a plane.

 

So back to the question, what’s expected of a tank crew on WWII act should their tank be knocked out? Are they to egress back to their lines for a tank to ride on again or are they expected to join the infantry on attacking enemy positions?



AntifoulAwl #2 Posted 15 May 2016 - 06:25 PM

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They are trained as tank crew, not infantry. Having tank crew join the infantry, and fight as infantry is not much different from a fail platoon.

 

Tanks are easily replaced. Experienced crews aren't.

 

edit; All circumstances are different tho. Say if units were surrounded (like Germans in Stalingrad), they what do whatever they could to help the outcome.


Edited by AntifoulAwl, 15 May 2016 - 06:34 PM.

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wasaabi #3 Posted 15 May 2016 - 07:49 PM

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Tanks crews would attempt to get back to their unit and crew another tank.  Tanks were often recovered by their own side at night and brought back to be repaired and sent out again.

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DanLBob #4 Posted 15 May 2016 - 08:21 PM

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It depends very much upon the circumstances. It was not unusual for crews to fight on with the accompanying infantry for the immediate period. If you were already in contact then you had little other choice. If you vehicle was knocked out behind the FEBA then you would join up with your unit and wait for a new vehicle or even be split up to fill other tanks who had lost crew members.

 

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ThomChen114 #5 Posted 15 May 2016 - 08:41 PM

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ideally they would go to the opposite direction of the fighting. they aren't going to stick around with the infantry, and the infantry won't fault them for it. they don't carry much small-arms, and they cant be expected to be able to fight as effectively on foot alongside the infantry due to different training and unit cohesion. most of their equipment and weapon is in or on the tank itself, and whatever equipment that's on the tank is up for grabs to the nearby infantry (extra MG ammo etc)

 

if the tank were knocked out in the open, and there was no danger of secondary explosion or fire, the crew might stay with the tank, hiding under the hull and wait till dark to return to base


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_EzioAuditore_ #6 Posted 15 May 2016 - 09:57 PM

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Interesting discussion :hiding: Don't know what happens to crews of knocked out tanks during actual warfare though i would assume it would either 1) fight if needed 2) go back to base if possible and crew another tank/repaired tank, as well as fight back to base if needed.

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ThomChen114 #7 Posted 15 May 2016 - 11:10 PM

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surviving tank crews that made it back to base wouldn't just pop into a vacant tank (if there ever was one) at the base and then just roll back to battle. most likely first they'd need to report back to their troop commander or whomever officer they'd need to report in with, establishing what had happened to them and their tank. then they'd likely have to report to the quartermaster about what happened to the tank, what was lost or destroyed, etc., and depending on where they are needed, either they'd have a replacement tank sent up to them (or they'd go back and pick it up at the rear supply depot). Also to note any wounded crew member unfit for action would go to the aid station -> field hospital -> home, depending on severity of wound, or a killed crew member, would have to be replaced. Then they'd need to put the replacement tank through its paces i.e. get the feel of the tank, calibrate the equipment such as gun, engine, controls, tracks etc. Then its back to the quartermaster to load up on equipment such as ammunition and fuel, and then joining the next supply column going up to the frontlines to join with their original unit or whichever unit they might be reassigned to.

 

here's an old FTR post related to knocked out tanks: http://ftr.wot-news....ies-in-the-eto/


Edited by ThomChen114, 15 May 2016 - 11:13 PM.

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ThomChen114 #8 Posted 15 May 2016 - 11:59 PM

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In the case of the Asia-Pacific theater of operations, it all depends on the circumstances. LAVs that get knocked out on water on the way to shore during a beach landing, any surviving crew and loaded Marines would have to swim to shore, since all the landing crafts and ships were under strict orders to not stop for anyone in the water, since A) they had a strict timetable to meet and could not afford to delay, B) the LAVs could not afford to load additional personnel beyond capacity, C) stopping in the water would make them sitting ducks for onshore artillery and disrupt the landing crafts behind them.

A recent example in the media that somewhat illustrated this was in the movie "Flags of our Fathers", during an early scene as the fleet sailed to Iwo Jima, some unlucky fella fell overboard. None of the ships could stop for one man, and at most he was given a life preserver and had to hope he would be picked up by escorts at the far rear of the invasion fleet.

 

Here's an old article by the Chieftain about Japanese Anti-Tank Assaults

 

 


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Puteralanun #9 Posted 16 May 2016 - 09:51 PM

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This is a video of a real battle. It show a Pzkpfw V Panther disabled a M4 Sherman and later was disabled by M26 Pershing in return. As you can see, some of the crew of both the Sherman and Panther survive and managed to escaped the vehicle, albeit minus one leg for the Sherman commander. You also see that the Panther crew was fired upon by MG as they bailed out.

 


Edited by Puteralanun, 16 May 2016 - 09:58 PM.





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