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  Home > -Quick Reference DVD Guide >

American Armored Combat Power 1941-1960
Photos of tanks & armored vehicles and their crews in action
Still photos taken from the films

American Armored Combat Power

Seven films & two training manuals

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American Armored Combat Power 1941-1960

* Armored Combat Power (1960, B&W, 30:00) Starts with a concise history of armored combat from chariots & medieval body armor through the introduction of tanks in World War 1, Blitzkrieg in World War 2 and the Korean War. Then you'll learn about the cold war armored arsenal including m47 and M-48 tanks, M84 heavy mortar carriers, M42 40mm antiaircraft vehicles and self propelled 105mm, 155mm & 8' self propelled artillery and then see them in a dramatic (& explosive!) live fire exercise at Fort Knox Kentucky. You'll learn about the roles, weapons and composition of the basic elements of an armored including tank, armored infantry, scout, and armored infantry platoons and self propelled artillery,. You also learn about the elements of Army Aviation that support an armored thrust, including the Cessna L19/O1 “Bird Dog Spotter plane, the deHavilland Canada-20 / U-6A Beaver, the Bell H-13 Sioux scout helicopter, Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw & Piasecki H-21 transport Helicopters. You'll learn about how the division used forward air controllers to coordinate air strikes with Air Force fighter /bombers like the F-84 Thunder Jet. Finally, you'll see all these elements used together in a dramatic large scale simulated combined arms assault against an entrenched enemy, including the use of tactical nuclear weapons. “As soon as the radiation from the atomic blast has cleared, the troops can advance...”)

* Seek, Strike & Destroy: The Camp Hood Tank Destroyer Training School (1943, B&W,10:00) The film begins with rare footage of Gen. A.D. Bruce open in the brand new tank destroyer training facility at the just completed Camp (later Fort) Hood army base, near Killeen,TX. The Army's first tank destroyer, which is featured here, was the “T12/M3 Gun Motor Carriage,” a modified M-3 half track with a 75mm M1897A4 gun mounted in the rear, which was a a adaptation of the quick firing “French 75.” The idea of such a thinly armored vehicle facing heavily armored tanks may seem strange today, but the Army's tank destroyer doctrine at the time was “shoot and scoot,” where fast moving anti-tank vehicles would harry the advance of enemy armor, shooting from covered positions, quickly retreating, and and then repeating the process, decimating the enemy. When they tried to fight toe to toe with tanks, Kasserine Pass in Tunisia, the results were disastrous, but used as intend, they could be effective. M3s were soon replaced with the much more effective M10 in Europe, but were used successfully against more lightly armored Japanese forces in the Far East & Pacific Theaters throughout the war. Highlights of the film include field maintenance, firing and maneuvers in the field. were

* Tank Destroyer 3" Gun Motor Carriage M10 (1943,12:00,1944) The M10 was the much more advanced successes to the half track T12/M3. Based on a M4 Sherman Tank chassis, it mounted a high velocity 3' (90mm) gun, which, like the German 88, was an adaptation of an anti-aircraft gun. Though much more heavily armored than the half track T12/M3, it featured an open topped turret and with a top speed of 32 mph, was designed for the Army's "shoot & scoot" tactics. Though much less well known than the M4 Sherman tank, it played a prominant role in many actions. You'll get a through tour of the M-10 systems & weapons inside & out, learn the roles of it's four man crew, and watch live firing exercises on maneuvers at Camp Hood, TX.

* What to do when your Sherman tank gets stuck in the Mud - Ordnance Repairs & Field Expedients for Tracked Vehicles (1944,B&W, 30:00) This is a treasure trove of inside, down & dirty info on how tanks and other armored vehicles were kept rolling & overcame a multitude of obstacles in the field during World War 2. You'll see an ordnance repair depot operating behind 3rd Army as Patton advanced across Northern France, including Sherman Tanks getting engines & transmissions replaced, turrets repaired and armor patched up after hits by anti tank fire & more. '"Field Expedients' were 'Anything you can do think of to keep your vehicle rolling.' in other words, it's a show case of good American Know How solving problems in novel and innovative ways. You'll learn how M4 Shermans & M5 Stuarts navigated a wide variety of obstacles, including deep mud, anti tank ditches, sand & boulders. How to repair common mechanical problems with simple tools. (You'd be surprised what you can do with fence posts & chicken wire!) You'll watch a Sherman back under abridge & support in with its rear deck so the rest of its platoon can cross it, adding grousers to tracks to climb steep hills, repairing thrown tracks in all kinds of conditions, building corduroy roads, what to do on a multi engined tank when one conks out (many tanks had several) and much more. A feast for gear heads & off roaders.

* American Armored Force (1956,26;00,B&W) You'll see a strategic tactical analysis of the use of tanks armor in the Korean War from the the initial attack by the North through cessation of hostilities Next there's a discussion of the role and of tanks in modern warfare including how armor and infantry work in concert during an advance. Then the action moves on to the armor training center at Ft. Knox where you see how crews were taught their various roles,l including driving, gunnery, communications and leadership. Next, you'll move on to Camp Roberts in California California where tanker were trained to fight supporting infantry in an urban environment. Then you'll watch large scale armored combat maneuvers in the California desert at Camp Irwin, including different attack and defensive formations, night attacks and liaison with airborne reccon. Finally, You'll see the 2nd Armored Division reactivate at Ft. Hood and transported to their new base of operations near Manheim, Germany, where you'll see them on maneuvers and testing new equipment.

* Deployment of a Tank Company Team for Night Attack (1952,15:00,B&W) This is a fascinating look at planning and deployment of an armored force for a night attack at company platoon level. Task Force 211's mission is seize high ground in a forest in the dead of night. You'll learn about recon, formations, lines of advance, command & control & much more. This is a rare reenactment of US Army small unit armored tactics in the depth of the Cold War.

* Birth of a Tank:The M48 (1955,28:00,B&W) The M48 was the first American battle tank designed & built entirely after the end of World War 2. As such it incorporated lessons learn in Europe and in Korea where United Nations forces encountered Soviet Armor for the first time. This very thorough documentary covers all elements of development from initial needs assessment, design, testing systems & prototypes through introduction & training. Highlights include an inside the Detroit Ordnance R&D Center where 10 of thousands of parts were developed, failure & performance tested including engines, armaments, metallurgy, cold weather performance, lubricants & much more.

Two bonus World War 2 manuals

* Tank Destroyer Field Manual: Tank Destroyer Drill and Crew Drill for the M10, T70 (1943 -187 pages in Adobe Acrobat .PDF file format.) Commands, placing weapons, mechanical training, combat formations, crew duties & more.

* Tactical Employment of Tank Destroyer Platoon Self Propelled Manual (1944 - 83 pages in Adobe Acrobat .PDF file format.) Scope, equipment, missions, movements, positions in readiness, reconnaissance, "the fire fight" & much more.

What to do when your Sherman Tank gets stuck inthe mud!

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