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0.50 cal HMG on Sherman

 
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0.50 cal HMG on Sherman - 11/1/2010 9:40:54 PM   
TMO

 

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First a couple of quotes:

quote:

In previous campaigns, the Motor Platoons had been carried in 15-cwt personnel trucks. In the months prior to D-Day however, these were replaced on a one-on-one basis by US supplied halftracks...This important change was never incorporated into the War Establishment table...enterprising units took the opportunity to increase their firepower even further, taking advantage of the halftrack’s machine gun mounts to add 0.50 cal Browning machine guns often discarded by Sherman equiped Armoured Regiments.’ [Gary Kennedy, British Army of World War Two, War Establishment Tables, Northwest Europe June 1944 – May 1945, Vol II, pp.138-189.]


quote:

We stayed for about three days at the FDS. The Regiment was fighting fiercely but our orders were to remain here and to re-equip ourselves. This we did by appropriating one of the brand-new Shermans that were lined up there, armed with a 75-millimetre gun and two (my italics) machine-guns. [Stuart Hills, By Tank into Normandy, Cassell, 2002, p 86]


quote:

The advantages of the M4 were that it had two (my italics) machine-guns (there was just one on the Firefly)...[Stuart Hills, By Tank into Normandy, Cassell, 2002, p 96]


The point I'm trying to make is that the British, at least, tended not to mount the 0.50 cal HMG on their Shermans. Whilst I can find wartime pictures of Shermans mounting the 0.50 cal HMG, the majority, as far as I can tell, don't show this weapon mounted. I wonder whether the default in BTFB ought to be no HMG. Any thoughts?

Regards

Tim

< Message edited by TMO -- 11/1/2010 10:43:59 PM >
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RE: 0.50 cal HMG on Sherman - 11/1/2010 10:00:47 PM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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Seeing as how the Luftwaffe wasn't much of a threat to the Sherman at this point in the war, it would make perfect sense to remove the M2 as I believe that it was mounted as an AA-weapon.

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RE: 0.50 cal HMG on Sherman - 11/1/2010 10:56:57 PM   
TMO

 

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quote:


The .50 calibre anti-aircraft machine gun was widely deleted on Canadian tanks;
  • Allied air superiority made the tanks generally safe from German air attack.
  • The .50 was configured such that in order to easily engage ground targets, the gun would have to be fired while standing outside the turret.
  • Crew commanders often found the gun unpredictable when moving through vines or low hanging trees, often being struck in the face or head by the gun when it caught on foliage.

[http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/vehicles/tanks/shermantank.htm]


Regards

Tim

(in reply to Prince of Eckmühl)
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RE: 0.50 cal HMG on Sherman - 11/1/2010 11:36:16 PM   
Nikolaj


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Prince of Eckmühl

Seeing as how the Luftwaffe wasn't much of a threat to the Sherman at this point in the war, it would make perfect sense to remove the M2 as I believe that it was mounted as an AA-weapon.


Not that I'm disputing anything, I'm just asking out of interest. Isn't a machine gun better than no machine gun? Was it in the way or something?

edit: nevermind, should've read the post above mind before asking. :D

(in reply to Prince of Eckmühl)
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RE: 0.50 cal HMG on Sherman - 11/2/2010 12:55:39 AM   
Prince of Eckmühl


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TMO

  • The .50 was configured such that in order to easily engage ground targets, the gun would have to be fired while standing outside the turret.


  • Yeah, I think that the weapon mounted on USA tanks was used a lot more by actors than dogfaces. Then again, we know that at least one notable G.I. used it lustfully:




    Regretably, the image above is from a theatrical production rather than the actual event!

    http://www.tankdestroyersociety.com/audie_murphys_one.htm

    Attachment (1)

    < Message edited by Prince of Eckmühl -- 11/2/2010 12:59:57 AM >


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    RE: 0.50 cal HMG on Sherman - 11/2/2010 1:23:51 AM   
    final_drive


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    Tim,

    Removing the .50cal might have been more common among Commonwealth troops.

    Many - not all - of the US M4s pictured in action (not KO'd) in the Bulge do show the .50cal in place.

    It was sometimes used against infantry, albeit at great risk. See for instance this account on the recapturing of Poteau by CCA/7A, Dec.18th (written by George Winter):

    "As Van Tine neared the edge of the village his tank was subjected to a near miss from a panzerfaust fired from the building behind Spencer. Almost simultaneous to this the 75mm struck a tree to the right of the Sherman causing the turret to spin. Nelson, the young gunner, was stunned by the impact. "I was dazed as I was pressing my face against the sights when we hit and just then our tank commander yelled to shoot straight ahead. Van Tine's order to fire was, without doubt, a reaction to the panzerfaust that had just missed his tank. With no immediate response to his order and certainly realizing a quick measure was absolutely necessary to save his imperiled crew and tank, Van Tine climbed out the turret hatch. Manning the .50 caliber machine gun he was almost immediately struck in the head."

    Other illustrations would be a rather well known picture of an M4 crewman firing a .50cal at enemy infantry in France from outside the turret (another one than the one PoE posted above), or Ambrose mentioning the .50cals of 2 Arm's M4s in E Coy's fighting near Carentan on June 13th.

    Finally, a bit less anecdotic: from the German Archives I have a copy of a report by Major Von Werthern, member of the General Inspectorate of the Panzertruppen, in which he wrote his observations of a visit to the Ardennes front (my translation):

    "Remarkable is the fact that all enemy tanks are equipped with their own AA-weapon. The adagium "every tank should be its own AA-tank" - very important to us in this time of enemy air superiority - is here very well put into practice."

    (in reply to Prince of Eckmühl)
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