Military Channel: 'Greatest Tank Battles'

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by RAF21, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. RAF21

    RAF21 Junior Member

    For those who may have missed 'Greatest Tank Battles' on the History Channel this excellent series is now starting on the Military Channel.
     
  2. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    RAF21 -
    Then God help all of us - as one who has taken part in a Tank battle - I panned this series a while back as being as false as a nine dollar bill - while the reports by Veterans are mostly true - the electronics are woeful and not at all realistic as how a Tank is knocked out thus making the whole show idiotic -it's the same shots every week -

    Tank Battles were not games to be played and people were killed and burned to death - we had a show where a Sherman came face to face with a Tiger at about five yards and the stupid Sherman Commander fired his 75mm at the Tigers front instead of getting the hell out of the way...I switched off at that point !
    Cheers

    Cheers
     
    pensioner1938 and von Poop like this.
  3. Must admit, I found a lot of annoying things in the episodes I watched. The fact that, no matter what era they were examining, the 'cut outs' they used to show the number of troops available always seemed to be wearing M1 helmets and carrying M16s, bit disconcerting for WW2...

    I don't know whether it was a conscious decision to portray the battlefield as devoid of humans, or if the graphics guy couldn't 'do' people, but that made it feel more like a computer game approach. And I think they stuck a 57-mm gun in one of the Bulge accounts when the gunner said he a crewed a 76-mm.

    What sometimes saves shows like this are the veteran interviews. The US tanker whose crew seemed to fight most of the Bulge isolated from his unit and the Russian tanker who referred to Panzers as each carrying ' seven or eight demons, all as drunk as shoemakers' both left an impression, though for different reasons!

    I know they couldn't really recreate the claustrophobia of fighting in a tank, but I still feel they could have done better, but perhaps the budget was too restrictive to ask for too much.

    Gary
     
  4. RAF21

    RAF21 Junior Member

    RAF21 -
    Then God help all of us - as one who has taken part in a Tank battle

    Can you tell us about your experiences in a tank battle?
     
  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    RAF21-
    tricky one as the bad days tend to recede into memory fairly fast and so the highlights tend to stand out in coming back now and again - this particular one came back to me forcefully when I read a book - by a Canadian author living in Victoria who had fictionalised this one day in the midst of a series of battles on the Coriano Ridge which took more than a week to finally conquer - it wasn't much of a battle as it only lasted about 20 minutes - but it was enough to recall !

    BBC - WW2 People's War - The Gothic Line: The Battle for San Martina

    Cheers
     
  6. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    RAF21 -
    Then God help all of us - as one who has taken part in a Tank battle - I panned this series a while back as being as false as a nine dollar bill - while the reports by Veterans are mostly true - the electronics are woeful and not at all realistic as how a Tank is knocked out thus making the whole show idiotic -it's the same shots every week -

    Tank Battles were not games to be played and people were killed and burned to death - we had a show where a Sherman came face to face with a Tiger at about five yards and the stupid Sherman Commander fired his 75mm at the Tigers front instead of getting the hell out of the way...I switched off at that point !
    Cheers

    Cheers

    Tom,

    I just picked up "Roads to Falaise" yesterday and read the first few chapters last night. Ken Tout has portrayed a British and an American tank action in about the most graphic manner I have ever read. The carnage inflicted on Cromwell and Shermans crews by 88's is described in every detail. It leaves one with an even more profound respect for the courage of those tankers.
     
  7. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Canuck -
    Yes it all happened - we had no real response to the 88mm or the long barrelled 75mm until the 17 pounder appeared at the battle of Medenine - four of them along with some 3.7'' put paid to all three panzers divs- and Rommel was fired ... the 17 pdrs then disappeared back to the Uk for a better platform to re appear in Sicily - the same four - which were all lost at the Liri valley - never saw them again in Italy.....then the Cromwell and Comet plus a few few Shermans Firefly's had them in Normandy - but the Germans were very good with their guns ....at 2000 yards ! the six pounder which we had all the way through was excellent..at 800 yards

    Cheers
     
  8. canuck

    canuck Token Colonial Patron

    Canuck -
    Yes it all happened - we had no real response to the 88mm or the long barrelled 75mm until the 17 pounder appeared at the battle of Medenine - four of them along with some 3.7'' put paid to all three panzers divs- and Rommel was fired ... the 17 pdrs then disappeared back to the Uk for a better platform to re appear in Sicily - the same four - which were all lost at the Liri valley - never saw them again in Italy.....then the Cromwell and Comet plus a few few Shermans Firefly's had them in Normandy - but the Germans were very good with their guns ....at 2000 yards ! the six pounder which we had all the way through was excellent..at 800 yards

    Cheers

    Tom,
    It takes real guts to repeatedly show up at a gunfight with a knife but in effect that's what you were 'asked' to do over and over again.
    A 1200 yard disadvantage!!! That's the equivilent of crossing 9 regulation soccer pitches laid end to end before you can take an effective shot.

    Like I said.......guts.
     
  9. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

  10. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    RAF21 -
    Then God help all of us - as one who has taken part in a Tank battle - I panned this series a while back as being as false as a nine dollar bill - while the reports by Veterans are mostly true - the electronics are woeful and not at all realistic as how a Tank is knocked out thus making the whole show idiotic -it's the same shots every week -

    Tank Battles were not games to be played and people were killed and burned to death - we had a show where a Sherman came face to face with a Tiger at about five yards and the stupid Sherman Commander fired his 75mm at the Tigers front instead of getting the hell out of the way...I switched off at that point !
    Cheers

    Cheers

    Tom,

    Like I have stated previously my late father spoke little of his combat in Italy.

    But your highlighted quote is very relevent.

    He did however mentioning getting friendly with a tank crew only to stumble upon it returning from a patrol.

    It had been knocked out and the crew all killed. By the sound of it, this incident had occurred not too many hours before.

    My father along with his patrol realised that this was the tank crew that they had become friendly with.

    My father said only that the crew were in a really bad condition as they buried what remains they found.

    Perhaps this accounts for my father never ever having a grill or BBQ or attending one.

    It certainly shows the full horror of war and no wonder that many Veterans never spoke of their service.


    Regards
    Tom
     
  11. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2018

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