German flame tanks at Salerno?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Chris C, Dec 26, 2019.

  1. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    I am now reading an old book about the Salerno landings. It makes mention of supposed Panzer IV flame tanks but the Internet tells me those never existed. Does anyone know what the Germans actually had? I imagine it most likely they were simply IIIs.
     
  2. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    They were definitely Panzer IIIs.
     
  3. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    According to Angus Konstam Salerno 1943: The Allied Invasion of Italy German records show that all that was available to the Germans were Mk IVs and Mk IIIs and most of the MK III had been converted to flammpanzer. He also points out that Allied tank recognition was not good so that many non existent Tigers were reported at Salerno. This might suggest that reports of flame throwing Mk IV were also mis identifications
     
  4. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    The British WDs that reference the Flammpanzers do identify them correctly so I’m not sure where the book got it’s information from. These were from Panzer Regiment 2 (Stabskompanie).
     
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  5. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    A lot of the book seems to be based on interviews so I imagine it would be from the faulty impressions of veterans. Moreover at that early point there weren't many tanks ashore so it may have been from infantrymen unskilled in vehicle ID.

    Thanks, Gary!
     
  6. minden1759

    minden1759 Senior Member

    Chris.

    What is the name of the book?

    Regards

    Frank
     
  7. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    That agrees with Konstam who says that most tank mis identifications came from infantrymen
     
  8. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

    Hi,

    This is from a German primary source:

    16 Pz Div - II Bn Pz Regt.PNG

    They had a tough time on 9 Sep 43, the Interim Report of 16 Pz Div says that by 1200 there was only one (of the original 7) still operational. (CAB146/34).

    There are some photos of at least one knocked out by the Royal Scots Greys.

    There are three books that mostly use British eyewitness reporting: Eric Morris 'Salerno', Hugh Pond 'Salerno' and Des Hickey and Gus Smith 'Operation Avalanche: The Salerno Landings'. I think the latter was sub-titled 'Gulf of Hell' in a paperback version.

    Regards

    Tom
     
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  9. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Unless I'm missing something (not entirely impossible) this still doesn't tell us what Mki the Flammpanzers were.
     
  10. Tom OBrien

    Tom OBrien Senior Member

  11. Gary Tankard

    Gary Tankard Well-Known Member

    I’m not aware of production version of a Flammpanzer on a Mk IV chassis. The most common variety was on a Pz III, certainly at this point in the war.

    There was only a platoon of Flammpanzers available to Pz Regt 2. I believe at least 3 were knocked out in the same counter attack on 9th September - but I’m away at the moment so I can’t recall what battalion it was against. One of 167 or 169 Brigade’s I seem to recall.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2019
  12. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian researcher

    Hi Frank,

    It's "Salerno" by Hugh Pond.

    Cheers,
    Chris
     
  13. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    [​IMG]

    This is quite a good little book on the development of Flammpanzers. It looks at the ad hoc Mk I, the Mk II, the most common Mk III and the rarer B2 (F) Beute, the Stug Flamm, the halftrack version 251/16 and even the Tiger one of which one prototype was made. It was written by two authors who know their stuff and has lots of photos and illustrations.
     
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  14. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Does it miss out those based on the PW 38 (t( such as the Flammpanzer 38(t) "Flammhetzer" ?
     
  15. Orwell1984

    Orwell1984 Senior Member

    No It includes that vehicle as well with 5 pages devoted to it. Just left it out of my summation.
     
  16. Gary Kennedy

    Gary Kennedy Member

    The authorised vehicles are identified as being the SdKfz 141 in the governing KStN table (War Establishment equivalent) for the Panzerflammzug (table Nr.1190 of 25 Jan 1943).

    Gary
     
  17. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Ignoring Greek fire etc the British were the inventors of the flame thrower (early 19th Cent) - the French the early adopters (1871) and the Germans the pioneers (1913) but I get the impression that by mid WW2 the Germans were less enthused about the weapon and the Americans took up the smoking baton (particularly in the Pacific)
     
  18. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Well-Known Member

    Just came across this passage:
    The source is cited as: Mead, Richard (2007). Churchill's Lions: a biographical guide to the key British generals of World War II. Stroud (UK).
    From: Douglas Graham (British Army officer) - Wikipedia
     
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