Tank gunnery training course procedure

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Topfmine, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Topfmine

    Topfmine Member

    Can anyone enlighten me the steps of the training course to be a RAC tank gunner, i assume the commonwealth nation who trained in the UK during WW2 such as Canada followed the same protocol training procedures as the British. I assume the following.
    After basic training as a soldier you were selected as a gunner, driver radio operator or commander. As a gunner you first studied in a class room the basics of gunnery in a tank, how the turret worked traversing and elevation. The guns, the main gun and coaxial machine gun and ammunition, safety procedures etc. The basics of gunnery, the enemy tactics and so on. Then onto a indoor range in a mock up tank turret in front of a diorama using a pencil light as the gun, orders given by an instructor, not sure if this is known as the puff range. Then the next step using a pellet range on a Rypas using a pellet gun to shoot the target. The next step to a open 30 yard range or a coaxial moving target range using machine guns single shot etc before moving onto a live firing range for the main gun such as a 2 or 6 pounder using AP and HE etc. Am i near correct?
     
  2. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    I'll have a rustle through the RAC Half-yearly progress reports to see what I can dig up. IIRC most of the RAC courses were 6 to 8 weeks long. Being a gunner was the least favoured role, with the driver and loader being much more favoured. This was because with these latter two roles you also learnt a trade, which had a supplementary pay rate. The trade for a driver was a mechanic, so that you became a driver./mechanic, and for a loader the trade was wireless operator. This in turn meant that the least promising recruits tended to end up as gunners, which was thought to have a deleterious effect in battle. Because of this in late 1943 gunners were also trained as mechanics so that they could also get as supplement to their pay.
     
  3. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    At the risk of digressing - the effect of 'learning a trade' in the forces had a powerful effect on post war Britain. I've just finished my MA dissertation on the effect of the war on rural Britain. Post war there was a huge labour crisis in the countryside. War debt and shortage of FX meant that Britain had to import even less food than in wartime which meant growing more but the men who had gone off to war were often not returning to the land in anything like the necessary numbers. One reason was that many had learnt a trade in the forces and could get employment in industry. Whatever one may think about the joys of rural life employment in a nice dry workshop probably beats standing up to one's ankles in mud in freezing rain lifting say heavy sugar beets. There were so many parts of the forces where one could be trained as a mechanic or a driver. Contrary to popular stereotyping, the average countryman did not spend his time leaning on a gate with a straw in his mouth saying arrrh and pondering the commercial opportunities of flying sheep. and I've found numbers of personal accounts by men who saw the forces as a way to get better employment. This is one reason why so many Italian and German POWs were kept years after the end of the war providing farm labour.
     
    Chris C likes this.
  4. Don Juan

    Don Juan Well-Known Member

    Topfmine - check your PM's.
     
  5. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Does not compute - no PM received. What does ]Topfmine mean?
     
  6. Vintage Wargaming

    Vintage Wargaming Well-Known Member

    See OP. It wasn’t meant for you.
     
  7. Topfmine

    Topfmine Member

    Topfmine is the name given to the last type of mine the Germans used made out of compressed tar impregnated chipboard with a glass chemical fuze,The mine mistaken for a plastic mine, it had glass filler plug and carboard carrying handle and was completely non metallic. Each mine came with a bag of sand that was radio active so the mine could be detected again when reused. It was only discovered after the war how the Germans detected these mines and what the bag was for. Mine warfare one of many favorite topics of interest.
     
    BFBSM likes this.
  8. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    Is this the same as the Glasmine 43?
     
  9. Topfmine

    Topfmine Member

    Quite different but can use a similar ignighter and inner plate of glass making it undetected. Glass mine 43 was actually a water proof mine for costal areas, the top glass cover sealed with a bitumen paste although made of glass did have a metal inner plate and ignighter fitted with a 200gram charge the same as a shoe mine. Some glass mines were completely made out of glass that used a glass plate and glass chemical ignighter which when crushed caused two compounds to mix, to form a hot flame setting of the detonator to the main charge. The shards from a glass mine explosion are very hard to detect under an x ray, quite a nasty thing to set off that would cause severe medical problems more than a wooden shoe mine would.
     

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