What Were WWII Tank Crews Armed With?

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Tartan_Terrier, Feb 27, 2012.

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  1. As above, which personal weapons would WWII tank crews in the British Army have been armed with? I suppose the Enfield, and perhaps the Webley revolvers are pretty obvious, but what about rifles and/or SMGs?

    For example were US lend/lease tanks equipped for/with Thompsons?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. I suspect it matters on their course of action if they have to abandon their chariot.

    If they were just expected to retreat and collect another tank, then you'd expect them to be lightly armed. Maybe just Webley and SMG and next to know other equipment (brew kit mandatory).

    If they were expected to advance in support of surviving armour then something akin to what the infanteer was carrying.

    How well trained were WWII tankies in aspects other than armour/armoured warfare.

    It's certainly one of the better questions posted on ARRSE of late.
  3. Old bloke I know was a Sherman gunner, he said he had a revolver as did the rest of his crew.
    Don't know if it was a rule or just preference.
  4. S&W .38
  5. Special spurless model of Webley wasn't it?
  6. Apparently, the South Albertas (29th Cdn Armd Recce Regt) were mighty pissed off when they had to trade in their Thompsons for Stens...
  7. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    My cousin in the desert armed himself with a liberated German rifle but all he shot with it was a gazelle and a leopard. The MO told his crew not to cook and eat the gazelle, and confiscated it, so my cousin was not too pleased to find it roasting over the MO's camp fire later on. The leopard he intended to flay and to take the skin home to sell it, but come evening after he had been driving around with it strapped to his vehicle he discovered that the arrse had been over the exhaust and the skin was ruined with big burnt hole in it.
  8. The unsourced establishments in one of the Heimdal books shows an infantry division of three brigades 18,300 holding 1,011 pistols for a while an armoured division opf 14,960 has 2300. The difference is likely to be a pistol for most of the C 1800 AFV crewmen. Tanks had one or two sten guns because oneof the accunts (4/7th ?? ) descibes rounding up prisoners covered by the loader from the hatch with a sten gun.

    Give me any examples of when dismounted tank crews advanced with tanks or infantry? If the Ww2 tank cewman dismounted in battle its likely to have been as a result of their tank being KO. At that point they would most likely have been thinking more about casualty evacuation rather than biffing the hun. Given that crews thought they had five seconds to gert out of a churchill and three from a sherman, taking a persaonal weapon was less important than all gettign out before it brewed.

    Some tank crews might have up armed themselves with Tpompson sub marchine guns. One memoir writer, (I canlt rememebr if is Ian Hammeton or Kenb Tout) writes about the crew of their LCT giving them a TSG in place of the puny sten. I read that the attitudes changed with crews which had been in action for a log time as their tank was merely a rentded mobile home apt to leave its crew homeless and posessionless at any point.

    Some armour were well trained as infantrymen. E.g. several whole RAC units were formed from infantry battalions early in the war.
  9. Bouillabaisse

    Bouillabaisse LE Book Reviewer

    I've just phoned my grandad to ask him what he carried. He tells me that a Luger was the favorite.

    He was really gutted when they issued him with a P38 instead.
    • Like Like x 13
  10. Remember having a conversation years ago with father (North Irish Horse) and he mentioned Thompson as their personal weapon,
    Will check some photos over next couple of days,

  11. I know that usually the Lend Lease tanks supplied by the USA to Russia came complete with full crew kits including padded helmets, MGs and TSMG's.

    The Enfield No.2 Revolver was supplied to British Crews along with tripods/ground mounts for all their vehicle MG's.

    Knowing the usual supply issues, no doubt Webleys of both .455 and .38 would also have been around. See no reason why S & W revolvers of various calibres wouldn't have been also issued.

    Stens, Brens and TSMGs were also supplied.

    Any quantity of captured weapons, either pistols, the short Italian carbine, Berreta SMG's or anything in between would have been handed out as a 'better than nothing' measure.

    enfield n02 - Google Search
  12. I was told on a visit to Bovvington that it was as much for themselves as the Hun.

    Did the Germans not call the Shermans "Tommy Cookers" whle the crews called them "Ronsons" because they lit first time, every time?

    Donald Sutherland carried a Luger
  13. I read somewhere that the TSMGs came with Shermans, but the Russians dumped the Thompsons because .45 ammo was unobtainable in front areas. No idea where I read it though, I think it was a Russian's memoir on-line somewhere. The leather seats would also be nicked by the Russian infantry to make boots if the Sherman was left unguarded for more than a few seconds.
  14. A tank
    • Like Like x 2
  15. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    Shermans for us, landed in Glasgow, were stripped by thieves and had to be refitted before they could be sent out to units. Thanks, Glasgow.