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What Makes a Successful Tank Crew?

Discussion in 'The Tanks of World War 2' started by SgtBob, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. SgtBob

    SgtBob New Member

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    Not having been a tanker I will defer to anyone who has, but I would say the two most important qualities are an excellent commander (who knows where and when to do things), and an excellent gunner. I'd love to get Mr. Chester's opinion 9among others).
     
  2. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    But if the commander's excellent instructions go to a total idiot of a driver...

    As I know nothing in practice I should keep my mouth shut & listen to what Gerry Chester & Tankpark (and any other ex-tankcrew) have to say :oops: .
     
  3. Spearhead phpbb3

    Spearhead phpbb3 New Member

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    An excellent commander and gunner is definetly needed. Also the crew should not panic in combat, have a quick reaction time (spotting tanks, reloading, aiming) and have teamwork.
     
  4. Lyndon

    Lyndon New Member

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    Otto Carius once said that only bad commanders interfere with the gunner so that's another one.
     
  5. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Provided that you have a good gunner.

    The perfect tank crew, but of course such people don't exist and all we can do is strive to be perfect, would have to have good overview, quick reactions, skill at his task and a good notion of what has priority. For example, a gunner who goes for light tanks first while being faced by heavies (if he can take them out) is likely to bring his crew in unnecessary danger. Also, trying to get out of a swamp is more important than killing enemies. He should be obedient and loyal to his commander, but able to function without direct orders directed to him in person. He should strive to preserve the tank, for that means keeping its crew alive.

    This is my judgment as a young one who has never been in a war situation. I am willing to withdraw every single one of these characteristics if Gerry Chester, Tankpark or other veterans tells otherwise, as I fully recognize and respect the value of their actual experience.
     
  6. trackpin

    trackpin New Member

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    the ability to make a good brew-up!
    A good crew makes itself.This is difficult to explain, but there is far more to a Regiment than the tank crews.
     
  7. tankpark.freeserve.co.uk

    tankpark.freeserve.co.uk New Member

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    The question I believe was "What makes a SUCCESSFUL tank crew?"
    Do you mean "What makes a successful tank crew survive?"
    The answer is "A Lot of Luck"
    You can not start selecting individual crew members as better than the other, experience counts, if you live long enough to aquire it, a smart crew knows the art of ambush, muck in together, as the post from Trackpin says, you have to be in a tank regiment to know the family, it,s like "Band of Brothers" without the Bull****.
    No more on this subject from me.
    I think this is post 149!
     
  8. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Re: post subject

    What makes the crew survive and inflict much damage on the enemy, I'd say. Luck is a factor in survival, but so is skill, experience and the ability not to panic in dangerous situations.
    So here we read intelligence, luck, and regimental bonding as the e factors to a succesful tank crew. Thank you tanpark!
    Oh come on! You deserve that higher rank.
     
  9. Lyndon

    Lyndon New Member

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    :lol:

    Well, Carius was a Tiger commander so I guess it's a given that a Tiger gunner would be at least halfway decent.
     
  10. Lyndon

    Lyndon New Member

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    Sorry to bang on about Tigers again but in the opinion of Alfred Rubbel,a famous Tiger commander from Schwere Panzer Abteilung 503 (the most succesful Tiger batallion of all) he considerd the most important crew members were.

    1.)The driver. Overall responsible for the maintenance of the vehicle and he directed the other crew members on the technical aspects of the running gear and chassis which was the most vital area to keep in working order. The driver also had to keep a sharp eye on the combat progress.

    2.) The gunner. Enough said.

    3,4 and 5). The commander, loader and machinegun/radio operator were just a notch below the other two but still obviously it was vital that ALL crew members had great understanding and teamwork. Unit spirit and comradeship was a vital factor as has been mentioned before.
     
  11. trackpin

    trackpin New Member

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    May I add a little information to this subject that I doubt you know of?
    When you passed out from a RAC training regiment in England( i do not know of German or even American Training Regiments) you did not pass out as just a gunner or a driver,
    Trades were as follows,
    Driver/Op , Driver/Radio Operator.
    Driver/Mech., Driver/mechanic.
    Gunner/Op, Gunner/Radio Operator.
    Gunner/Mech, Gunner/Radio operator.
    Everyone worked together, Engine, Fuel, Food, Cooking,Maintainence,
    guard duties, it's no good the driver saying"I'm not loading shells, I'm a driver"or the gunner "I'm not fueling up, I'm a gunner", so, you might joke together who was top dog but the Officer or Sergent washed his
    eating irons up with the rest and lived (and died) with the rest.
     
  12. Christian Ankerstjerne

    Christian Ankerstjerne Member

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    Same thing as with the German crews - they were all trained in all the duties performed by each crewmember, to at least some degree.
     
  13. Notmi

    Notmi New Member

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    Re: post subject

    Is this cross-training how common? I actually thought it happens everywhere, just because we did so. In my gun crew everybody can do other jobs to some degree. I can not just command but also manually aim it, use the computer, load and of course maintenance that gun. But I'm not particarly well-trainded to any of them except commanding.
     
  14. liang

    liang New Member

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    Back to the original question, I think the most important member is the commander.
    Sure the gunner gets the kill, the driver gets to put the pedal to the metal, but the commanders dictates where, when and how the battle is fought. Any tactical error on his part will probably mean instant and horrifying death to himself and his crew, no matter how good his gunner/driver/radio operators are.
     
  15. Christian Ankerstjerne

    Christian Ankerstjerne Member

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    Personally, I think that the main importance is that the crew can cooperate. A good commander, gunner or driver will not be any good if the rest of the crew isn't up to speed.

    For a tank crew to be truly succesful, they'd have to work as an entity rather than as indivicual crewmembers.
     
  16. Boba Nette

    Boba Nette New Member

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    I'll venture a guess and say a successful tank crew will know the strengths AND shortcomings of theirs AND their opponents equipment.
     
  17. Capt.mainwaring

    Capt.mainwaring New Member

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    Have just come across a comment in Military Magazine from last year by a certain "Arthur Gerald Chester"of the North Irish Horse",I'm sure I know that name! He was remarking upon his web site and in it he said this.
    "Additionally, it is also an endeavour to illustrait the extraordinary bond that existed between tank crew members.
    This bond,blurring thelines of distinction between ranks, was forged between men of the British Army who fought and sometimes died in AFV's.
    Also, not to be forgotten are the men whose task it was to keep the tanks and their crews in good shape-they too did not remain unscathed"
    Please note, the BOND, no mention of the Gunner, Driver, Commander etc being the most important.
    Haven't I seen something of this earlier?
     
  18. Ricky

    Ricky New Member

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    So in essence, Teamwork (this seems a rather pale word to use for the bond suggested between crew members, but it will have to do) followed by intelligence (common sense rather than military intelligence!).

    Does that seem right?
     
  19. liang

    liang New Member

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    It is obvious that team work is alwasy the right answer. But I thought the original question was which member is the most importan?
     
  20. trackpin

    trackpin New Member

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    No it was not!
    It was "What makes a successful tank crew"
    Nothing to do with who was the most important.
     

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