Firearms

Throwback Thursday: The M3A1 Grease Gun — A Desperate Gun for Desperate Times

A surplus submachine Grease Gun

A soldier’s connection to his equipment is an odd bond. As a warrior your very life might hang on the effectiveness of your gear, and you need to believe that the equipment you use is the very best your nation can produce. In no other aspect of military service is this axiom better exemplified than in the case of a soldier’s personal weapon.

By Will Dabbs

The Second World War was the most expansive conflict in human history. Never before or since have so many combatant nations tried to resolve their differences on the battlefield. At a time when Total War demanded every measure of effort industrial, economic, and spiritual that a nation might muster, the United States attempted to produce a quality submachine gun that was both effective and inexpensive while remaining amenable to mass production.

The Grease Gun

A surplus submachine Grease Gun
The M3A1 was comprised of two stamped, sheet metal halves welded together. The heavy bolt rode on twin guide rods so the internal geometry of the receiver was not terribly critical.

The original M3 Grease Gun was adopted in December of 1942. In its original form, the gun was intended to be disposable so spare parts were not stockpiled. The M1A1 Thompson it replaced costs $42 at the time as opposed to $18 for the M3 and $9 for the even more utilitarian British Sten. To grant a bit of perspective, in today’s dollars this is $554, $237, and $118 respectively. By December of 1944, a number of deficiencies had been identified and corrected, and the definitive M3A1 was rolling off the lines. This variant of the gun served as personal armament for tank crews well into the 1990s.

The M3A1 was comprised of two stamped sheet metal halves welded together. The heavy bolt rode on twin guide rods so the internal geometry of the receiver was not terribly critical. The original M3 cocked by means of a ratcheting sheet steel handle that was wont to bend and break under hard use. By contrast, the M3A1 cocked by means of a simple divot in the bolt. Any handy human finger could cock the bolt easily. The pivoting dust cover incorporated a blocking device that locked the bolt either forward or back and served as a rudimentary safety. The wire stock could be removed and used as a handy magazine loader to pack 30 .45 ACP rounds into its double-column magazines that tapered to a single column for final feeding.

WWII reenactor with OD green BDUs and a Grease Gun
Many period photographs show Greasers in action with a pair of magazines taped back to back. The supply system offered rubber covers that slipped over the top of loaded magazines to keep water and crud out.

Turning Ammunition Into Noise

The Grease Gun’s rate of fire is remarkably sedate. At 450 to 500 rounds per minute, singles are easy with a delicate touch on the trigger. A full magazine dump takes a nice long time. Despite the heavy cartridge, the classic Grease Gun remains remarkably controllable.

Some GIs believed the rate of fire was too slow for proper room clearing, but a friend who carried one in action swore by the gun. Many period photographs show Greasers in action with a pair of magazines taped back to back. The supply system offered rubber covers that slipped over the top of loaded magazines to keep water and crud out.

Most GIs invariably preferred the Thompson, despite its excessive weight and bulk, but the vintage Greaser was compact and easy to carry while still throwing those heavy nearly half-inch slugs in a reliable swarm. The wire stock is neither comfortable or terribly effective, and left-handed operators were simply out of luck. However, at a time when nation states were giving their all to either fall or prevail, the Grease Gun was available in quantity on the battlefield. Handy enough to tuck into the fighting compartment of a Sherman tank or across a reserve chute for a combat jump, the M3A1 Grease Gun was a desperate tool for desperate times.


 

Dr. Will Dabbs was raised in Clarksdale in the heart of the Mississippi delta. He attended Ole Miss and earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering while being commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army. After eight years on active duty Dr. Dabbs left the Army as a Major with 1,100 flight hours piloting UH-1H, OH-58A/C, CH-47D, and AH-1S helicopters. He then attended medical school and a Family Medicine residency at the University Medical Center in Jackson. He was married in 1987 to his high school sweetheart and they have three children. Dr. Dabbs’ hobbies include tactical shooting, reading, commercial writing, woodworking, firearms design and manufacturing, and teaching the Young Married Sunday School class at First Baptist Church Oxford.

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Comments (56)

  1. I asked my uncle about the M3.
    He made all four drops in WWII as a member of the 2/505 PIR 82nd.
    As far as he was concerned he thought they were junk and better suited for tankers.
    He carried an M1 Grand up till the time he got hit for the third time during the battle of the bulge which ended his time in the war.
    Most of the firefights took place at over two hundred yards and that was why he always carried an M1.
    Some Officers and NCO’s carried Thomsons but were not effective at long ranges even when firing single fire.
    Even General Galvin the Div. Commander carried an M1

  2. Steve, I rode with Crazy Horse and used a M3 to great effect against “Yellow Hair,’ and his troops. Those blue boys never knew what hit them!

  3. In early 1951 was at Ft Benning attending the “Light & Heavy Weapons Inf Leaders Course. We trained and qualified on “ALL” Inf weapons from .45 auto to 81mm mortar. Fam tng on other weapons, flame thrower, hand/rifle grenades, bayonet, ect.

    Fired both models of the “Grease Gun” good weapon for tight spaces.

    The Thompsen climbed up and to the right when fired. Had to compensate.

    My favorite was the M1917A1 .30 cal water cooled machine gun. Extremely accurate. Could increase rate of fire by turning screw plug on trigger grip clockwise, or in emergency remove plug, insert nickle, reassemble and continue firing at a higher rate of fire.

  4. Bill, 80% of comments here are poorly contrived
    horse ca-ca.

    And “greasers”? Seriously?!?!

    James Dean is rolling in his grave…

    But really, my unit had M3’s…lots of em. We
    used em to deadly effect on our FPF against
    Pickett’s unit, on Seminary Ridge. Mowed
    em down in droves…then there was the time
    at Waterloo, we reinforced the Brits…the
    Frenchies couldn’t understand how fast
    we fired!

  5. I’m not sure why the author said southpaws were out of luck. I used to own a M3A1 and only shot if left-handed. It is so slow firing that you could sing a song while using it:

    The stars at night,
    Are big and bright,
    Pop – Pop – Pop,
    Deep in the heart of Texas.

    The prairie sky,
    Is wide and high,
    Pop – Pop – Pop,
    Deep in the heart of Texas.

  6. I’ve never held or even seen one, but I have fired the MP-40 and liked it a lot. I imagine they are similar enough that the Grease Gun would be as good to shoot and handle.

    I appreciate good designs and engineering, but I love something that just works and gets the job done for a reasonable amount of money. If they had kits for these like the Sten, I’d build one of each. Maybe one day Cody Wilson will offer 3D printer files on these weapons.

    1. They are available from time to time on auction sites, just expect to spend a pretty penny, I saw a decent kit recently for $2500 as a starting bid!

  7. I won a pair of 10 ya pistol griped, 12 inch barrels in a card game with four box’s of brass, 00 buck, shells.
    Shot it once! Was more weapon than I wanted to have and I didn’t think that wearing wrist braces for the remainder of my life was going to be a good fashion statement.
    I traded them to a Marine tunnel rat in 72 for an M3A1, an ten mags. Was my daily carry from then on. Very stable platform, cyclic was a bit low but allowed for good control and shot placement. However, the .45 ACP chambering made up for any short comings. Had or armored clean the trigger up a bit but other than has been kept original. Was my constant companion back in the day. Served me very well. I consider it to be one of the better sub guns produced from that period. Will be found yet on battle fields here an there even with the proliferation of AR an AK platforms.
    I also had a Swedish K, 9mm sub-Gun for a time 11that I also liked very much. Would have liked to have kept it too.

    1. Great story, thanks for your service! If you’ve still got it, I would gladly take good care of it for you!

    2. Hey George! I’ll be happy to put you on the list of those who would like to care take what I have collected over the years! You can all come to an agreement when gone, LOL!
      I would have liked to have kept that brace of 10ga double pistols too. I do know that they came home with the Marine I traded them too and he and they live in Wyoming now. We have stayed in touch an I see he an his wife now an again. He grew quite fond of them for clearing tunnels. As we are both getting older I don’t suppose he shoots them very often but they look quite good hanging on his wall with othe memories of his youth. Im sure his grand kids will get them along with the story of them someday.
      If you ever get the oppertunity to have sone range time with one try the Seidish K in 9mm (or a S&W M76). This platform was also quite comfortable and served very well.

  8. We had the M3A1 on our tanks in Vietnam. One day while cleaning all of the tank weapons, one of my crew said “LT, the springs on the 50 cal machine gun are the same as the grease gun except longer”. Sure enough, he was correct. So we cut the 50 cal springs to size, installed them in the grease gun and loaded it. Everyone stood back while I pulled the trigger. The springs were so strong that when I pulled the trigger all 30 rounds fired in about 1 second. It was unbelievable.

    1. That’s a ROF of about 1800 rpm.Faster than an MG42.
      While it is possible to increase the ROF of a gun with stronger springs, simply adding a stronger spring has side effects, and the increase in ROF is modest.
      Increasing the ROF by over 3x by simply installing a stronger spring just isn’t possible.
      The spring doesn’t only push the bolt forward; it also slows the bolt as it moves rearward. If the spring is too strong, it won’t allow a spent casing to eject because it will stop the bolt before it goes all the way back, much less pick up a new round to feed.
      I have no doubt it probably felt that fast, but physics is a harsh mistress, and won’t allow what you remember.

  9. My dad was a tanker with Patton in WW2 he used a greaser himself said he could cut a man in half from the turret of that that tank with a short burst from the greaser .He loved it as a tanker weapon .

    1. We had them up at the firebase camp in the highlands where my unit did OJT for ARVN Special Forces in ’68 and we also gave them the surplus M2 select fire .30 carbines to better ‘fit’ their diminutive size. The rate of fire was just too slow for extreme fast action jungle fighting. Of course, that’s why each team had at least one Pig along for the party, and the rest of us wore belts of a hundred rounds or so in crossed links. But cyclic was so slow in the Grease guns that a fast trigger finger on the M2 in semi mode could beat the greaser firing full auto! For extended carry with sufficient fire fight ammo, it was, like the 14, just to heavy to carry around all day. The Swedish K, which was later ‘knocked off’ by Smith & Wesson, as a police subgun, I believe, was a gem, with the 36 round mags, but the one I really liked (we had just about everything that ever was used in warfare whistle through our base camp at one time or another) was the Suomi with the top folding stock as it could also accept 72 drum magazines in 9mm. We modified the front of the barrel with a modified type of silencer/flash suppressor and this was like brass knucks in a bar room brawl for surprise night time ambushes. Then the CAR 15 ‘Shorty carbine came around with 30 round Mags that was light enough to be handled effectively with one hand, like a pistol, with lightning fast drop free mag changes compared to anything else and that became the preferred date for the dance death for most of us.

  10. It was someone named Steve that said that, he also said he was a door gunner on the Space Shuttle in Nam along with a few other “Out There” Comments.

    As for the grease gun being used in Desert Storm I can attest that it was in fact used. There were still quite a few units with them still in their inventory. 3rd Infantry Division for one. Almost anyone assigned to a tracked vehicle was issued one, even in the 103rd M.I. BN not just the Armored and Tank units. I personally loved them. If I could get my hands on one today I would pay the BS fees to have it. It was fun to shoot, easy to maintain, would take a beating and not miss a beat or complain about it.

    1. I myself never saw anyone with the M3 greaser in DESERT STORM that was my experience end of it .

    2. I was an armor crewman (19k10) from 1989 to 1993. I familiarized on the M3 and qualified on the M16A2 as the crew served weapon and the Beretta M9 as the personal weapon in OSUT. When I arrived in Europe with 1AD we were using the M16A2 and 1911’s. I was with 1AD, TF1-37 during Operation Desert Storm and our unit carried these. There were no M3 Grease Guns in our armory. When I returned stateside in 1992 the unit I was assigned to did not have them either. I could understand maybe some units still clinging onto them but I know that wasn’t the case in the units with which I served.

    3. There are some transferable greasers out there, just expect to spend quite a bit, it’s worth it mind you, but very pricey!

  11. My early military training was with M1 Garand, carbine and 1911 then was issued an M3A1 on arrival at one assignment, and carried for that assignment duration. Typical to AOR rear areas never qualified, fired or even had a magazine for the arm, but it was very handy daily carry as opposed to the usual M1 Carbine. Only issued a Garand while on rifle team then came the M14 era soon followed by the M16. Served 1952 thru 1980.

  12. USMC and I served in tanks M48 & M60, from 74-77. Both in the 1st & 3rd Marine Divisions. We were issued .45 side arms and the tank carried an M16 only. Never once say a M3 grease gun, in a tank nor in the armory.
    The M16 was a bit long/length when trying to store it inside the tank and cumbersome to get the rifle out of the hatch to use it quick.

    1. Grunts love tankers. Carried the M-14 through my first two of four trips into Nam. I called her “Sheri.” I now have “Sheri II” Put battle-sight zero from Nam on my “Sheri II” I only had to move 1 click elev and 1 click Left wind to come on target. Springfield is consistent in their mfg.

  13. 45 Cal grease guns were all over The Nam in early years, 63-68, and were handed out to some Viet Officers and their body guards. In Dom Rep manywre confiscated and sent tovBragg that never made it to armorer, as pilots; Fly Blows, Airdals and choper pilots glommed onto them. I seen a few slung on back of chopper piots and co-pilots seats n Namf both troop slicks andbred ross choppers
    Used to have pics of retired tankerInstructor and at his retirement his pic showed him holding the grease gu he had been issued someb20+ years before( 1969) inGermany.
    We used to be able to uythe tin flats punhed and unpunched fo $15 and rest of partswere no prob. Sloppy but the damnthings did the proverbale took a licking but kept on tickin kcing ass..
    We atched as one chopper pilot dropped hs outof chopperfrom 100-80 ft. Dentex we went to Aircraft repair at AirForce CampLBJ. Disassembled peened out dents weput the fly blows running out of hooched andem clubs when we fired it.
    Got drunker than skunks on pillots money. For straffing we turned weapon on its side spray and pray by letting recoil take weapon horizontal.
    Bouncing hot 45 casings.

  14. My Dad served in Korea and was issued a M-1 Carbine. After his first combat experience, he swapped the Carbine for the M-3 and never had a failure to function or take out a Chinese or North Korean soldier.

    He loved the old grease gun, and I got the chance to fire one at a range I worked at as gunsmith. It is the most basic of Class III weaponry, but it works consistently and is very easy to maintain. It may have been a quick and dirty solution to a problem, but it worked and served well for a long time.

  15. I qualified expert with the grease gun as a tanker in the Idaho National Guard in the late 70’s. It’s an easy gun to shoot well.

  16. Back in the early 70’s we were issued 1911’s and “Grease Guns” as armor crewmen. There wasn’t much point in trying to “aim” those things, they jumped around pretty good when you pulled the trigger! (Back then we “pulled” not “pressed” the trigger!) But you sure could pop out of the hatch and be ready to go to work with one! You sure couldn’t do that with those long old “Mattel” rifles!

    1. I was Eighth Infantry, Fifth Battalion, Sixty-Eighth Armored Division. Sullivan Barracks, Mannheim Germany 72-75

  17. I flew as a scout pilot in Vietnam. We used the m3 to sink VC sanpams. Worked much better than a 5.56 round. It fired from an open bolt so accuracy was not in the first round but, in a spray and prey situation, it work great and was a great back-up weapon as it didn’t take up much room and .45 ammo was plentiful. Oh-6A cockpits didn’t have much room. We had two Thompsons and two Greaseguns. I prefered the greasegun as there was much less to go wrong.

  18. I had an M3 grease gun issued to me when I was on an M88 crew in the Gulf War. At the time, my perception was that it was a clunky piece of junk compared to my M16A2. But I later fell in love with it at the range. There was no qualifying. They just called it “orientation” as I got to spray some 45 ACP in full auto to get the feel of how it handled. Later when I was no longer assigned to the armored M88, I had to turn that baby back in and go back to the pea shooter. Hard as I tried, I could not convince my superiors to let me keep the grease gun. It’s just for the tankers, I was told. Too bad. Would have been great to have it in the Humvee too.

  19. I was a space shuttle door gunner in Vietnam, and during our secret dismounted operations and rendezvous’ with VC tax collectors, I enjoyed carrying an M3. It was easier to obtain .45 ammo than 9mm (which tended to tumble in the M3 bore, making those 800 meter shots more difficult), tho the 9mm was easier to obtain than depleted uranium .17 HMR rounds–particularly since they hadn’t been invented yet.

    1. You were what in what where lol wo some experience there troop lol.? I was deployed into Op Desert Storm attached to the 3rd acr in a bradley from ft hood tx I personally saw no M3 grease guns in that op . We faced off with Repulican guard units and the occasional loyal insurgent groups. the conscripts gave right up the RG did not . Not saying is not true or did not happen my man David R. i never saw 1 we were not issued any .45 acp ordinance shipments in fact . 9mm nato ,5.56 ,7.62 nato .50 browning yes . Not that those Haji’s may not have had a few who knows lot of old WW2 weaponry small arms as well were left in post WW2 iraq and desert theatres of arabia . would not bet against the muji’s in soviet invasion did not have a few for some for sure or well made copies at least made in one of the paki , indian ,egyptian arabian area gun makers shops they had enfields, mausers ,turk mausers,etc, and many other WW2 arms used against the soviets . and possibly us in operation iraqi freedom, in the insurgency after major ops and in afghan theatre with the taliban. But in OP Desert Storm not that i saw wish i had would have like to see a real one from ordinance ready to go .We had M4 carbines in the Bradleys with us .

    2. Damian, I read your reply to Steve, but it seems you meant your reply for me.

      To answer your question: I served in the Army years ’89-’92, stationed at Ft Stewart, GA in the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized), 3rd Engineer Battalion (combat engineers), A Company. My MOS was 63Y (tracked vehicle mechanic). An M88 is an armored recovery vehicle, basically a tow truck for armored vehicles with a 4-man crew of mechanics.

      I was issued the M3 grease gun when I was on the M88 crew. That is a fact. Believe it, or not. I matters not to me. But I would point out that the blog article above does state the M3 “served as personal armament for tank crews well into the 1990s.”

    3. @ DavidR -Like i said I NEVER SAW 1,did not say ,i repeat , i did NOT say it never happened .I never saw any m3 grease guns in op des storm personally was my quote sir. And i did not see a single 1 nor did we get any .45 acp issued to us to use in one . That does not mean you did not maybe you did .ME NEVER.And it was armoured cavalry troop.No M3′;s with us .

    4. There are more holes in your story than in a wheel of Jarlsberg.
      Drop a 9mm round in the chamber of a .45 ACP barrel and it will drop through without stopping. You might want to take that into consideration.

      If you are going to post ludicrous comments, try a bit harder to make them reality based or at least plausible.

      Your comment isn’t cute or humorous, and it isn’t relevant or insightful.

    5. @sfc ?????????when did i mention the dropping of a 9mm nato round into a .45 acp chamber?My reply was simply i never saw any M3 grease guns in desert storm op theatre nor were we ever issued ANY .45 ACP ammo to even use we had nothing with us as army cavalry fired the 45 acp round . We carried 9mm nato ,5.56 .7.62 nato and .50 browning only with us . The Marines in 2nd marines hooking along side of us may have had .45 acp we in 7th corp advance hook move had no 45 acp ammo or any weapons platform that fired that round in op desert storm not with us we didnt. no holes in my story lol. And i never meant to go off topic just . I ? that post is all .still do .JMHO.

  20. The grease gun was a fav of mine that I carried in RVN, “bought” not issued. Plenty of those and Thompsons that I also carried sold openly amongst troops. And .45 rounds were easy to come by in bulk.
    Sold them off to a “newbie” when I left country.

  21. My ol man swore by his said same thing it would drop a German ss or italian with 1 round ,was very easy to use coming out of a tank and if the tank was disabled along with the M1911 and M3 they could fight there way back to the line and live to fight another day and it would make a pewrfect urban close range or jungle adapted new model would be something to see compared to the price of building the M4 AR how bout updating the ol M3 greaser .45 type weapons platforms both were very good manstoppers.. Why we ever went to the 9mm over a .45 i never understood anyhow ol slab sides still gets the job done 100 yrs later plus.

  22. The movie “Hell is for Heroes” demonstrates the proper handling of the M3 to perfection.

    Having shot both the Thompson and the M#, I’d choose the Grease Gun any day…

  23. Replacing the recoil springs on the M3 grease gun with an M2 50 cal recoil spring halved doubled the rate of fire of the grease gun. Worked great but consumed ammo quickly. A Vietnam modification.

    1. Yep, did this in Nam. The trick was ehere to cut the M2 spring. That made all the difference in the world. I was in CIA at the embassy during Tet. The Marines in the Security Guard contingent used Beretta M12’s with 9MM and we CIA MACV-SOG analysts and interpreters carried M3A1’s. We’d use the Beretta’s to do the initial sweep and the M3A1’s to hit the harder behind the wall targets as we cleaned up the embassy of VC sappers. Good, effective cheap urban gun for up front and personal combat survival.

  24. A friend carried one in Vietnam, while I carried a M-2 Carbine. We both got our weapons from a most unlikely source, a V.C. tax collector. Those of you that were over there know of them. For his own reasons, he supplied both to me and friend, ‘string free’. He expected nothing, we gave nothing, except an occasional beer, when we encountered him.
    My friend, an MP, was very happy with his ‘Grease Gun’. It relatively slow rate of fire made it easy to control. It’s slow, heavy bullets would knock down a target easily. I really envied him. My M-2 with it’s higher rate of fire was sometimes difficult to control under ‘full-auto’ conditions. Though, the .30 cal. bullet was no slouch as a man stopper, it was just difficult to control, firing from a window and driving a vehicle at the same time.

  25. I qualified on the M3 in AIT, and was issued one in Germany (1960). When arriving in “Nam (the M-16 was new and considered a Suicide weapon) I obtained an M3 and my First Sgt carried a Thompson. We carried these until threatened with a court martial if we did not get rid of them. I considered the M3 perfect for urban and jungle warfare, simple,short , and firing a man stopper round. Need to go back to them.

  26. I acquired and carried an M3A1 for a time in SEA. I liked it very much for both the .45acp and lower cyclic rate. I traded it for a Swedish K which I cared for the remainder of my tours. The K was a bit lighter as I remember and one could carry more munitions to weight for it. Had a big higher cyclic rate and 9mm was easer for me to acquire in quantity than .45 ACP.
    Both platforms served me well.

  27. I was trained on and issued a Thompson while in the Navy. I had handled the M3A1, but felt the Thompson was a better weapon. If I had to carry it in the field I might not have thought the same as a matter of practicality. The Thompson was truly a work of art IMHO. Sure wish I could afford one today.

  28. I was an Armor Officer long enough ago that as a 2nd Lt, we actually had the M3s for one trip to the range. While I had to qualify with my 1911, all we were required to do with the M3s was to shoot for familiarization.

    I recall that we would just point to the lower left hand corner of the silhouette and fire a 7-10 round burst. When we would let off the trigger and look, there was a nice line of .45 cal holes going from the lower left to the upper right of the target. Helluva lot of fun and it would have dropped anyone!

    That was the only time we shot them because they switched us out for CAR 15s soon after. Much nicer weapon, but not as much fun to shoot.

  29. As beautiful as the “Thompson” was both in looks and as a machine, the “grease gun” made more sense in a war as large as WWII, Lighter,cheaper and as reliable. The “Thompson” made for a better police arm, Being somewhat over built it’s more suitable as a weapon intended to be kept around for many years.

  30. My father was a tanker under patton in ww2,north africa ,anzio as well and belgium, of course he swore by his old grease gun in the role he used it for being in a sherman his opinion was that for a tank crew this was the Answer and they all had M1911 colts as well before he got issued the greaser he was using an m1 carbine that is what they had at the time in the tanks .He was always saying how that .45 cal M3 got the job done way better than the M1 carbine and held more rounds and could carry more ammo for it in the tank and was used in his sidearm as well .One great example of good old American ingenuity at work and great use of our industrial might to keep that war effort alive .Both fired same round giving the tank crews far more firepower in the manner it was needed most .Saved countless American lives and served for many many yrs.

    1. @Damian

      My father was also a tanker in North Africa, but didn’t go ashore in Italy until Salerno. He wasn’t at Anzio but did make the Rapido River crossing. He spent time on Tank Destroyers. I still have his regimental booklet they gave out as well as an original Road to Rome booklet the 5th Army published.

      They also had M1 carbines, but were glad to get the grease guns, although he also kept a Garand on the tank and said he was glad to have it once when their tank hit a mine and they had to bail during an assault.disabled tank

    2. Dad was with the 20th Armored Division. Landed at Omaha on day one, was there for the Bulge and was in the Africa landings and campaign prior to that. Spoke highly of the Thompson and his Tanker Grand too.

    3. @ mikhail My dad said there were many many times those tank destroyers saved their asses from those big tiger tanks they had in belgium without them we may have lost that battle and war could have went on a lot longer they would always be thankful when 4 or 5 destoyers showed up and took those huge tiger tanks out from distance they were a very frightful sight in a tiny sherman when you saw a squad of tigers on move you had 1 shot in a sherman up against a tiger you miss the sweet spot better bail fast he will not miss they are Germans he would say . They never miss . Hi 5’S to ya father my man could have saved my dads life at one time who knows we were not there . Were many times without them tank destroyers they would NOT have survived against those tiger tanks dad said they wrre massive and very hard to kill and could shoot them wayyyy before they could get within range had to mix in with them in huge numbers or all died.Only way to beat a tiger tank at the time .

    4. @Damian

      My dad spent time in both. Started in Shermans and then was transferred to the destroyers. Nasty gun, but an open turret.

      Cameras were a lot less convenient in those days than now, so not too many pictures, but I do have a few old B&Ws he had of some Shermans, a destroyed MkIV, some very badly trashed Italian villages, and a captured German officer. I also have his unit picture from his old horse artillery unit from back in the mid-30s. Great stuff!

    5. Cool the sherman gun was like pea shooter against those big tigers the destroyers had enough gun and could hit them at long range shermans could not do the 77 mm was nothing against those big tiger and other 88’s most just bounced off had to mix in with them and hit it dead in rear or tread at short range to stop them only way but the detroyers big guns blew them up with 1 round without those crews and that gun it could have went on much longer and many many more tank crews would have died. they got the job done .

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