Commonwealth "Tank Aces"

Discussion in 'General' started by Warlord, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Lads, long time since I opened a thread, so thought this subject could deserve one:

    Even though Commonwealth brass didn't recognize the "tank ace" status as the Wehrmacht did, there must have been commanders who deserved it in recognition of high numbers of enemy tank/vehicle kills, and more so because of, most of the times (if not all), having to fight with generally inferior armour.

    Can someone suggest some tankie names?

    BTW, thinking of this, the WD comes to me mind as an "ace factory", being such a target-rich environment (at least against Benito's lot), and a field of dreams for armoured-warfare wallahs.
     
  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    This may be relevant? :
    Was there ever a ministry approved "official" tally" for allied tank crews? or even individual tanks

    I have most often heard, I think, that the allies more often tended to (aim to) fight as "whole troops" / squadrons etc. and with support of infantry, artillery, air power etc. not as "lone guns" - so individual allied tank commanders going off and picking off enemy tanks wasn't a "thing" ;-)

    I have seen refs however to this or that allied tank commander having knocked out so many tanks (3, 5 etc) i.e. Sgt.Dring SRY

    e.g. George Dring - Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry Regimental Association

    & Sergeant George 'Killer' Dring

    There is a David Render (SRY) quote: Normandy 44: The Battle Beyond D-Day

    "David Render, a British tank officer in Normandy, said that the Allies had a more team based approach. Troops of tanks would work together, with the destruction of an enemy tank being attributed to the troop rather than to an individual commander as was the case with the Germans."

    Ps. This was posted a few months bacK: 24th Lancers, M4 vs Panthers. Rauray 1/7/44

    And whilst it mentions the tank troop etc. it doesn't detail individuals or tanks knocking out particular German tanks (i.e. as an example)
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2018
  3. ceolredmonger

    ceolredmonger Member

    British practice didn't recognise the concept of attributing tank 'kills' in the way airforces did. It was totally impractical for anything but a propaganda tool.
    It became standard practice to hit a target with multiple shots, often from different tanks (sometimes days apart if the hulk was still perceived as a threat). Unlike aircraft which crash (and contrary to computer games and films where tanks always explode) a tank kill was not always obvious. It would have been an unnecessary burden to try to sort out who killed what and how. War diaries tend to keep after action or daily tallies, attributing individual vehicles if appropriate. Occasionally individuals actions stand out however these again are for conspicuous activity over a short period of time.
    See above and my favourite - Sgt Harris's tank of the 4th/7th RDG around and at Lingevres - five shots, five Panthers. The action has been widely written up. Attached Photo is of the Late Dick Eagles, Harris's Loader/Operator taken on the spot in 2005 (my copyright).
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial

    Lt. G. K. Henry of "C" Squadron, 1st Hussars, merits a mention.

    On 9 June 1944, his firefly knocked-out five Panthers from the 12th SS Panzer Division in rapid succession during the defense of Norrey-en-Bessin. Other Shermans were credited with two more Panthers in the same engagement.

    "During the afternoon Tpr. A. Chapman, crack gunner in Lieut. G. K. Henry's tank, established a bridgehead record. When six tanks penetrated his position he held his fire until all were visible; then with Tpr. "Sass" Seaman slapping the rounds into the 17 pdr., he fired five times. Five rounds—five Panthers. Before he got to the sixth one another "C" Sqn. tank, commanded by Sgt. Boyle, had accounted for it. In this action Tpr. Chapman's record was made possible by distracting HE fire, provided by other tanks at the crucial moment."

    photo_norrey_en_bessin_1944_normandie_02-1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  5. SDP

    SDP Senior Member Patron

    Can't be absolutely certain but it might be worth asking George Drings son whether George had any thoughts on said subject. His son(?) lurks on Facebook. George Dring died in 2003 at the age of 85.
     
  6. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    Rad Walters and his crews are reported to have 18 confirmed kills...his troop is likely the troop that knocked Wittmann out for good...
     
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  7. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial

    A previous thread on that subject:

    Sherbrooke Fusilier Reg't & Michael Wittman
     
  8. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    This is what I was referring to; the kind of havoc the Allies could wreak with the right set of tools in hand! (And this, taking into consideration the Firefly was nothing but a good and powerful gun, on the same under-armoured Ronson chassis).
     
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  9. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    BTW, any records about exploits on the WD? Haven't been able to find any, so far...
     

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