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Thread: Ready for El Alamein: ideal British tanks

  1. #211
    Senior Member yulzari's Avatar
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    To be pedantically fair, the fitting of the ex Sherman mantlet/guns to Churchills was to use 75mm HE in Italy as the Churchills there had the 6 pounder. The UK was enlarging the barrels of new ROF 6 pounders to 75mm to use the same ammunition as the new standard for new Cromwells and Churchills. Even on the last Valentines.


  2. #212
    Senior Member stug3's Avatar
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    General Montgomery with Lt-Col A C Clive of the Grenadier Guards in a turretless Stuart command tank, March 1943.



    Bishop 25-pdr self-propelled gun in Tunisia, March 1943.



    Guardsmen of the Scots Guards inspect a knocked-out German PzKpfw IV tank near Medenine, 12 March 1943.

  3. #213
    Senior Member stug3's Avatar
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    British tank driver peering out of his Grant tank in North Africa, 1942.



    Remains of German tanks form circular patterns in the sand at Sidi Rezegh in Libya.


    Abandoned Italian respirators lying in the sand in the Western Desert.

  4. #214
    Senior Member stug3's Avatar
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    Two Long Range Desert Group patrols meet in the desert.

  5. #215
    Senior Member parsifal's Avatar
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    The LRDG was formed specifically to carry out deep penetration, covert reconnaissance patrols and intelligence missions from behind Italian lines, although they sometimes engaged in combat operations. Because the LRDG were experts in desert navigation they were sometimes assigned to guide other units, including the Special Air Service and secret agents across the desert. During the Desert Campaign between December 1940 and April 1943, the vehicles of the LRDG operated constantly behind the Axis lines, missing a total of only 15 days during the entire period. Possibly their most notable offensive action was during Operation Caravan, an attack on the town of Barce and its associated airfield, on the night of 13 September 1942. However, their most vital role was the 'Road Watch', during which they clandestinely monitored traffic on the main road from Tripoli to Benghazi, transmitting the intelligence to the British Army Headquarters.

    With the surrender of the Axis forces in Tunisia in May 1943, the LRDG changed roles and moved operations to the eastern Mediterranean, carrying out missions in the Greek islands, Italy and the Balkans. After the end of the war in Europe, the leaders of the LRDG made a request to the War Office for the unit to be transferred to the Far East to conduct operations against the Japanese Empire. The request was declined and the LRDG was disbanded in August 1945.

    The Axis also had LRDG special forces, with the italians in particular having some impressively equipped units. The crews of A.S.37 put forth very favorable judgments on these vehicles; their four wheel drive and large diameter wheels prevented them from becoming easily bogged down. The A.S.37 principal defect lay in a silhouette too high and thus too visible.
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    Last edited by parsifal; 03-22-2013 at 04:10 PM.
    Fr President Clemenceau’s speech to the AIF 7th July 1918: “ we expected a great deal of (Australians)… We knew that you would fight a real fight, but we did not know that from the beginning you would astonish the whole continent. I shall go back and say to my countrymen “I have seen the Australians, I have looked in their faces …I know that they will fight alongside of us again until the cause for which we are all fighting is safe for us and for our children”.



  6. #216
    Senior Member stug3's Avatar
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    British war correspondent Alan Moorehead's impression of the American army in Tunisia from Alan Moorehead: The Desert War Trilogy

    In the drizzling rain little groups of infantrymen were drawn up to receive their last instructions. They were hardly more than boys, most of them, wonderfully tall and proportioned and looking very forbidding under their Nazi-like helmets.

    Unlike the British battledress and equipment, which tends to hold a man stiffly upright, these boys were in a uniform which gave them plenty of free movement. The short and formless weatherproof jacket was scarcely a garment of beauty, but it allowed the men to walk in the easy stooping way to which they were accustomed.

    Most of the American stuff was first-class, and even as good or better than the German. Their mess tins, water bottles, rubber-soled boots, woollen underclothes, shirts and windbreakers were all superior to the British equivalents and their uniforms in general were made of finer stuff.

    The Garand rifle and the officers’ carbine were already regarded by many veterans as the best small arms on the front. As for their heavier equipment, it is doubtful if any army ever went to war so well supplied.

    The only general criticism might have been that there was too much of it. Every other truck had a machine-gun mounted on its cabin. The self-propelling guns and the Long Tom guns were some of the heaviest artillery along the whole front. The diesel Sherman was certainly the best tank of its class.

    The jeeps, at the other end of the scale, were unmatched, and the Germans loved to capture them for their own use, just as we had loved to get hold of a Volkswagen. The weapon-carriers and the command vehicles were all brand new, as were the signalling sets, the bulldozers for road-mending, and the electrical workshops.

    It was the volume of this stuff, the intensity of the firepower that was so impressive. Possibly the troops could have done with a better heavy machine-gun and an improved mortar, but in general there was no question that they were the best equipped allied amiy at the front.

    By European army standards the American rations were lavish to the point of extravagance – vast quantities of tinned meats, fruits and vegetables. In any American mess you could be sure of getting an excellent hot meat and vegetable stew, a plate of fruit, white bread and a cup of coffee.

    Things like cigarettes, chewing-gum and toothpaste were handed out in a way that made the British soldiers gape. The Doughboy was always generous in sharing out his good things. As a British war correspondent I personally was given immediate hospitality wherever I went, and such things as maps and plans were discussed with me without hesitation.



    A US tank crew pose in front of their Lee tank in Tunisia. Note the weighted 75mm gun.



    US President F.D. Roosevelt inspects troops from a jeep during the Casablanca conference, January 1943.
    Last edited by stug3; 07-06-2013 at 09:45 AM.

  7. #217
    Senior Member stug3's Avatar
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    Valentine tanks carrying infantry of the Black Watch, March 1943.



    Bishop 25-pdr self-propelled guns in action near Grenadier Hill, 23 March 1943.



    A Universal carrier escorts a large contingent of Italian prisoners, captured at El Hamma,

  8. #218
    Junior Member Bob_Semple_Airplane's Avatar
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    I wrote this a while ago on the topic of a British assault gun based off the Crusader. Armed with the 3 inch AA gun.

    Englander Sturmgeschutz - Alternate History Discussion Board

    Here's the pic:

    Cruiser Tank.jpg

    In retrospect it looks like the superstructure shape has room for improvement.
    A herd of chasmosaurs is unusually jittery! They now know they have more to fear than tyrannosaurs! Now they face an even greater danger...


  9. #219
    Senior Member stug3's Avatar
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    A Sherman tank crosses an anti-tank ditch during the advance through the Gabes Gap, 6-7 April 1943.

  10. #220
    Senior Member stug3's Avatar
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    This pattern of anti-aircraft fire provides a protective screen over Algiers at night. The photo, recording several moments of gunfire, shows a defense thrown up during an axis raid upon Algiers in North Africa on April 13, 1943.

  11. #221
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    Thanks for the link and the image Bob.
    Had a read of the attached - very interesting! Shows that some of the guys at the front were highly innovative and were capable of adapting whatever was available to get the job done!

  12. #222
    Senior Member MacArther's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob_Semple_Airplane View Post
    I wrote this a while ago on the topic of a British assault gun based off the Crusader. Armed with the 3 inch AA gun.

    Englander Sturmgeschutz - Alternate History Discussion Board

    Here's the pic:

    Cruiser Tank.jpg

    In retrospect it looks like the superstructure shape has room for improvement.
    Awesome!
    http://www.fictionpress.com/u/478009/
    Hillary 2014: The world has to end sometime!

  13. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinnye View Post
    Thanks for the link and the image Bob.
    Had a read of the attached - very interesting! Shows that some of the guys at the front were highly innovative and were capable of adapting whatever was available to get the job done!
    The tragic thing is that if the people higher up the food chain had listened think of the difference it would have made and lives saved.

  14. #224
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    Totally agree Glider, seems those that should have been put in decision making positions were often unable to get there because of some upper class twit who got his job because of who he was, his family were or who's butt he'd kiss!

  15. #225
    Senior Member parsifal's Avatar
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    gotta put in some voice of dissent here. no question that the British command system was its weak point. However its not valid to blame it all on the higher leadership. in fact british higher leadership had vastly improved from WWI to WWII.

    In my opinion, the inertia that was so evident in the British Army in WWII was as much evident in the middle and lower levels of command as it was higher up. But having said that, there was also a measure of great initiaitive and originality as well.

    Blaming the higher leadership for all the woes in the British Army is about the same as those supporters of things German to blame all the failure German on Adolf Hitler. hitler made his share of stuff ups, but he was in no way solely or mosly responsible for the defeat of Germany. In the same way, the higher levels of British command made its fair share of bad calls, but they cannot be blamed, solely or mostly for the numerous British failures either.
    Fr President Clemenceau’s speech to the AIF 7th July 1918: “ we expected a great deal of (Australians)… We knew that you would fight a real fight, but we did not know that from the beginning you would astonish the whole continent. I shall go back and say to my countrymen “I have seen the Australians, I have looked in their faces …I know that they will fight alongside of us again until the cause for which we are all fighting is safe for us and for our children”.



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