Novice Gun Loader, Sherman Tanks, Help Please

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Osborne2, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    I have just come across an account of a Pole, no military training, escaping from forced labour in France joining Polish 1st Armoured in France after D Day, without coming back to Britain.

    He went straight in as a tank crew man. I am assuming the easiest job would be as a loader? I want to get this right as its for publication.

    Thanks guys. I am having a bet with myself who will pick this up first!
  2. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    I'd have thought co-driver/hull gunner would be the least specialised and according to this site its the one most crew started on #9 The Crew And Their Stations: The Human Part Of The Tank, How They Lived, Worked, And Fought | The Sherman Tank Site - also going on the brilliantly historically accurate film "Fury" the new guy went to that position.

    I would say though that it would have made more sense to put him with B Echelon helping as a general labourer moving stores about if he was just a keen type who wanted to help out
    Osborne2 and Chris C like this.
  3. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you. All is clear now. Co-driver. Very good link. It must be that role.The original source had him as a crewman, so that's my guess now.
  4. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    Incidentally, my understanding is that the division was understrength or had a problem with replacements, so they did absorb such people quite a bit.

    I can't point to any books but there are some knowledgeable people on Twitter such as Jenny Grant (@SilenceInPolish)
  5. Osborne2

    Osborne2 Well-Known Member

    From what I have read, it was touch and go whether they would go to Normandy because they were short of men or reserves, but of course they did go. The evidence I have coming from sources in English (I don't know Polish) the Polish 1AD scavenged POW cages for ethnic Poles and eventually nearly 90,000 former Wehrmacht Poles joined the Polish Army in exile from 1944 onwards.

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