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Adapting to German tactics in N Africa
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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A2_Prius
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 7:39 am
Post subject: Adapting to German tactics in N Africa

Every history and fictional account of the Desert War (I recommend Cyril Jolly's excellent TAKE THESE MEN, published in 1955) indicates that, while acknowledging - and constantly lamenting - the effectiveness of the Germans' combined tank & anti-tank gun screen tactics, the British didn't copy them.

This is especially puzzling to me in light of the fact that by Alamein the Eighth Army had, in the 6 pdr., a gun that could take on any Axis panzer in the theater except the Tiger.

Why didn't the British adapt their tactics to what their enemy had done with such resounding success?
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piney
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2008 3:26 pm
Post subject: Re: Adapting to German tactics in N Africa

I might point out in passing that he first Tiger the british destroyed in North Africa was with six pounders Smile

Piney
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SHAWN
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 5:34 pm
Post subject: Re: Adapting to German tactics in N Africa

A2, good question,
(what were the british defensive tactics?)

comparing german defensive tactics vs. british defensive tactics, i would ask this-- how did their offensive tactics compare? you cant copy such tactics if the enemy isnt going to give you the opp to use them the same way that he does...
Rommel uses his armor in the assault much differently than Monty does.
i dont think that Wavell, Anderson, Monty or any british commander for that matter, would/is going to "copy"...
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A2_Prius
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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 5:39 am
Post subject: Re: Adapting to German tactics in N Africa

Shawn -

From what I have read Field Marshal Montgomery was a "set-piece" commander, preferring to have everything in place before executing an attack. I think this mindset would work against the aggressive, panzer/grenadier/PaK screen mix that Panzer Armee Afrika employed so adroitly. (Note: this observation takes nothing away from the bravery, ingenuity and elan of Commonwealth forces in North Africa.)

A reprint of another Desert War classic, Robert Crisp's BRAZEN CHARIOTS, is available. Curiously, the tank photo used for the cover illustration is a Pz. Kpfw. III: I would have expected perhaps a Honey!
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SHAWN
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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 8:10 am
Post subject: Re: Adapting to German tactics in N Africa

i agree A2prius, by the time monty takes command and reverses the british set backs, the tactics that he employs in the assault work well for the british. the brits can affair to overwhelm the germans on almost every level (firepower, manpower, logisitics, etc.)... they can take the loses. rommel could never afford any loses. even if the brits deployed the same defense tactics, could they have gotten the germans to walk right into them the same as they did? rommel was great at chess, and could never afford to employ offensive tactics like that. you can agrue that rommel was a good tactician, monty was a good strategist. i would even agrue that rommel was the wrong type of commander for the germans to use in the med. (rommel didnt know how to fight a "war of containment", he was the junkyard dog unleashed). anyway...
the brits are great soldiers, had much more desert warfare experience, more so then the germans. everybody was learning lessons.
shawn
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