Was there ever a ministry approved "official" tally" for allied tank crews? or even individual tanks

Discussion in 'RAC & RTR' started by Ramiles, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Hi all,

    Was there ever a "ministry approved "official" tally for allied tank crews? or even individual tanks? in place or ever attempted?

    Asides from medals for specific actions I don't think a "running" total as such was ever "officially" kept?

    I assume we were fairly relaxed about such things and didn't really make much of a play of it, partly because the facing enemy armour plating was so tough, and allied tanks tended to "fight" together and so accrediting individual "kills" against enemy armour might be unnecessarily contentious?

    Also who get's credit for a "kill" and carries such on? One would assume that the gunner might get a beer, but the driver might have positioned the tank for the best shot and the co-driver was essential to keep the gun supplied.

    I have seen a few attempts to name some allied tank aces but these attempts seemingly often seem to falter, as they don't quite match the tens to hundreds the axis aces seemingly claimed....

    I guess there could still be some recommendations there for allied tank aces though...
    ...or a wiki page that has the answer ;) on the go... :pipe:

    All the best,

  2. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Some weblinks associated with this:

    With a rather brief entry on allied tank aces on wikipedia here:

    And some interesting threads associated with this:

    British/Canadian Armour in Normandy/NW Europe....underrated??

    Wittmann question?

    Monty on tanks (and the comparison between allied and axis armour there)
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  3. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    The allies didn't really "go in" for this sort of thing so this might be quite a hard one to progess, however I'll try to keep a list of some "noted" allied tanks and tank crews during WW2 here, as they are found, as I've not yet seen this available very readily yet elsewhere: (I'll try to keep them alphabetical by surname so that one is easy to find) - I'm afraid this won't be an exhaustive list (might be an exhausting one though!) - if you want someone of note posted, put what details you can in a post below and I'll try to move a "selection" up here to "whet" people's appetites so to speak, all the best. Rm.

    Canada (Looks like Canada is tops unless Australia, Antigua or Albania step up!)

    Lt G. K. Henry ("C" squad, 1st Hussars Canadian) whose "Firefly" tank apparently fired five shots and knocked out five Panthers, in Norrey on 9 June 1944, a record in one engagement for the Normandy battles. (See note from "canuck" for more detail in post 11 below).

    Major/Lt.Col Radley-Walters of the Sherbrookes of the 2nd Armoured Brigade. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydney_Valpy_Radley-Walters .
    Credit for 18 German tanks and SPs. He was 24 years old when promoted to command his regiment and rose to rank of Brigadier General (As of 2015 he was 95! :salut: RIP April 21, 2015 Kingston, Ontario) (see note from "canuck" - in thread, post 9 below) James Love - Veteran Stories - The Memory Project

    Sergeant Reits - Tank commander in "A" squadron under Major Radley-Walters, who's crew in their first operation against the enemy knocked out two enemy tanks (see note from "canuck" - in thread, post 9 below)
    James Love - Veteran Stories - The Memory Project


    Sergeant Paddy Caulfield's (24L "A" Squadron, tank commander, 2nd tank, 4th troop) - Firefly helped to destroy four German Panthers in the Battle of the Tessel Woods on 26th June 1944 for which he was awarded the Military Medal (MM).

    Sergeant George Dring (SRY)
    Sergeant George 'Killer' Dring

    Sergeant Harding (?) crew of 4/7RDG who knocked out several Panthers with several shots at Lingevres on about 8th June 1944. Lingevres is just to the west of Tilly sir Seulles. (Note from SDP)

    Captain Stuart Hills (SRY)
    Captain Stuart Hills

    'Reg' of 23rd Hussars but ex 24th Lancers who was the only tank gunner in WW2 to knock out two tanks(Panthers) with one shot. Reg is still alive and kicking at the last count and living happily in Ipswich. He was recommended for the MM but it was declined as being a lucky ricochet.....and which Reg concurs. (Note from SDP)


    Lt. Col Creighton Abrams: Patton once called Abe Abrams the best tank commander in the US army. Abrams led the 37th Tank Battalion from the front, and with the crew of his M4 Sherman tank, Thunderbolt, is thought to have destroyed about 50 German armored fighting vehicles. Interestingly Lt.Col Abrams is mentioned in as the M1 tank was named after him - so well done USA! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1_Abrams
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  4. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    "Celebrated" Allied WW2 Tanks

    There's a list of allied vehicle names here: http://mmpbooks.biz/mmp/tables/Vehicle_Names_V1.pdf
    Some of which are "celebrated" with some comments in the appropriate column to explain why:

    "Bomb" - the "only" Canadian Sherman Tank in action from D-Day to VE-Day.
    James Love - Veteran Stories - The Memory Project


    "Akilla" - Sergeant Dring's tank ("A" Squadron of the SRY)

    "Armageddon" - "A" squadron 24th Lancers - is in an often seen WW2 picture on Gold Beach 1944.
    http://www.battlefieldhistorian.com/gold_beach.asp?pg=2 (about 1/2 way down this webpage)

    "Monck" - Sherman command tank of the CO of the 1st (Armoured) Coldstream Guards in late 1944.

    "Robin Hood" - CO's tank ("RHQ" Squadron of the SRY)
    US (Might be wiser if there were a separate thread for other allied nations though?)

    "Thunderbolt" - M4 Sherman tank of Lt. Col Creighton Abrams (the top US tank commander and after whom the M1 Abrams was named)
    (Nb. much more to add here...and there are probably thousands, tens of thousand if you count all the allies..(!)...but I'll try to keep it fairly brief to about a top 100 here ;) ) :)
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  5. stag

    stag Active Member

    Thanks for the postings Ramiles. A great idea in my opinion. I would love to find out the name of my Dad's tank but I don't think I ever will. One of my great regrets is not asking him!
  6. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Hi Stag,

    There may still be ways to find out.

    I don't know your details, but from your location I guess that you are in the UK and interested in British tank names?

    I don't know how much you know about his regiment or tank crew? Someone might know of them, and their tank naming style, SRY (Sherwood Rangers - quite like Robin Hood and his band - amongst other things!) and other regiments took a similar associative route, through that you might be able get to someone that knew their tank name, but there are still some resources out there that collect and squirrel away this sort of information.

    A lot or regiments stuck to names following the squadron letter: so lots of names beginning with A's, B's, C's. And if you know your father's squadron in his regiment that might be your first clue. But some used the names of battle honours, or of a biblical reference. Some even seem to choose the names of famous ships (!) Scottish regiments sometimes chose the name of famous Scots, and because Sherman tanks came from America a lot of them were named after places in the US. I particularly liked the fact that HQ squadron of the 6th Armoured Division in 1941 - used the names of Snow white and each of the 7 dwarves, but presumably only until the film's lawyers found out ;)

    I have sribd on my phone so I can access this:
    (But from a computer I think that you have to negotiate the subscription offer a little bit, it's not necessary to take up the offer and pay - usually you just get by it "X"ing the popup in the top right hand corner) - and you can then read quite a bit of it for free online.

    It seems like a really good book, if a bit dated (pub 1978!) and there's some really useful info in there about the various British regiments markings and names.

    If you find it useful enough you might even be able to buy it from Amazon or secondhand. I expect.

    This is the first one I found but there might be "better" deals to be had than this particular seller:

    All the best with you search,

    Let me know how you get on (but don't give up!)

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  7. stag

    stag Active Member

    Thanks for this Ramile., I certainly am British based, just down the road from you by the look of it! My dad was in 147 Regiment RAC and I think it was B Squadron but not 100% sure on that. I do have some colleague names on some of his photos as well so I have a start. I will certainly not give up and I may find something when I visit Kew in the summer.
  8. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Hi Stag,

    That might help things along a little bit as it is suggested about the 147s that the during ww2 they used an "s" to begin the names of the tanks in their "b" squadron with troops taking the vowels in order using names starting "sa" for troop 1, "se" for troop 2 , "si" etc for troop 3.

    It's funny how you learn such little things as these, in these little steps, to get closer and closer and so maybe one day you get there!

    Their "rhq" squad apparently used Hampshire regimental battle honours such as Minden (CO's tank), Oudenarde, India and Hellas.

    All the best

  9. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Ramiles likes this.
  10. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    BTW! Was the film "Fury" named after an actual famous tank WW2???

    I can't get past the dozen's of "Fury" film links and articles, that google seems to thrust before my eyes, my that was one super-hyped film, I wonder what they paid to advertise it, because what they must be paying to google to promote it now probably almost matches the cost of the entire film!

    I gather it was loosely based on the exploits of a Canadian crew (ah-hem) - but I'm not so sure if the tank was real, I am pretty sure that there are "Fury" tanks dotted around in various tank forces now though around the world, and would expect that there were one or two "Fury" tanks of renown during WW2?

  11. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    Apparently a record for the Normandy battles;

    "Just after noon on 9 June, Twelve Panthers fanned out in a single line at a right angle to the rail embankment. Approaching the village the company swung left keeping in a solid line with their fronts towards the village in anticipation of confronting the Canadian anti-tank guns.

    However, nine Sherman tanks from the 1st Hussars including several "Fireflys" equipped with 17 pdrs, were moving towards the front to reinforce the Reginas' position in Norrey. The majority of the Sherman tanks were navigating through the village, but one Firefly, commanded by Lt G. K. Henry, had worked his way around the village to the front where he spotted the advancing Panthers. Catastrophically for the 3rd Panzerkompanie, their swing to the left, though protecting them from the 6-pounders in Norrey, exposed their flanks to Lt Henry at not more than 1000 metres distance. The Canadian tank opened fire hitting the tank nearest the rail-line first. Incredibly Lt Henry fired five shots and knocked out five Panthers. A sixth was accounted for by another ā€œCā€ squadron tank.
    The crews from the burning Panthers along with their supporting infantry retreated back to an underpass where Canadian artillery began to pound the area inflicting even more casualties.

    The attack of the I Battalion, SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 25 never materialized leaving the assault a complete failure."

    Gunner: Tpr. A. Chapman
    gbcinque, gpo son and Owen like this.
  12. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    'Rad' Sydney Radley-Walters is living as well.
  13. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

    Last edited: Dec 14, 2016
  14. gpo son

    gpo son Senior Member

    Rad Walters passed away yesterday . He was the Western allies tank ace with 18 confirmed knocked out. All this and spending 2 months in hospital. His renowned was for his leadership style of friendship and inclusion responsility.

  15. gbcinque

    gbcinque New Member

    Hi Canuck,

    My Father Gunner/Loader/Radio Op, J. F. Chapman was in the Hussars (later with the Sherbrooke Fusiliers) during the D-Day landing up until he was wounded on June 11 in a roadside bocage trap set by the Germans (500lb aircraft bombs buried under the road).

    He told me the story of how he also fired upon the five Panthers on the ridge.

    Funny, he never mentioned that another Chapman was serving as a gunner in the reg. He told me all knew each other from training in Camp Borden.
    canuck likes this.

Share This Page