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Captured tanks used by the Africa Corps

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by FNG phpbb3, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    Hi,

    I mentioned this on a previous thread and killed it completly with no response.

    So I was wondering, does anyone have any details of the ammount of captured tanks that Rommel used during the African campaign?

    The reason why I ask is that Rommel in his lightning strikes captured significant ammounts of enemy material including a lot of tanks. The Germans, being despertate and not hugely fussy, also put into service anything they could get their mits on.

    But when I read books about the African battles they never mention captured tanks when describing force compositions, but due to the nature of the campaign actual tank levels and compositions are generally very accuratly monitored.

    I beleive a lot of these figures for Rommel came from intercepts as the Allies were capturing and translating huge ammounts of data from Rommell that he was passing back to high command about his force number, so would Rommel when he says that a unit had 70 tanks include captured tanks in that number? Or would he avoid something which could technically be politically embarrising.

    So when you take into account that Rommel in the greater scheme of things had very few Mark III's and IV's sent to him, would his use of captured Grants, Matildas, Crusaders and later Shermans actually have formed a significant proportion of his tank force?

    Do writers take into account captured material in their description of the tank force numbers and if so why is it never mentioned?

    Amyone?

    FNG
     
  2. David.W

    David.W Active Member

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    Numbers are very difficult to find. Most captured tanks had a very short shelf life, due to lack of spare parts/ammunition etc.
    I doubt that they ever represented more than 5% of the total number available, and most of the time, less than that. But I can't back this statement up.
    Will keep my eyes peeled for more concrete info.....
     
  3. Boba Nette

    Boba Nette New Member

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    I read somewhere that upon their surrender, 85% of the Afrika Korps vehicles were captured.I don't remember where I read it,but I'm positive of the number.This refers to all vehicles,not just tanks.

    SturmTiger
     
  4. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    I don't know about tanks but I believe they used huge numbers of French and British (or lend lease US) trucks and cars which they scavenged from all across Tunisia and the rest of North Africa.

    One assumes that cars and trucks will be useful for quite a while and if you have loads then you just canalbalise one to feed the others.

    FNG
     
  5. Che_Guevara

    Che_Guevara New Member

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    Some of the Matildas were equipped with the 5-cm-KwK L/42 and were known as the Pz. 748(e), the crusader got the designation Pz. 746 (e).

    The Afrikakorps had a special "Beutepanzer-Kompanie" which used 12 Valentine´s and the "Beutepanzer-Zug" of the Pz.Jg.Abt. 605 used five of it.

    The 8. Regiment of the 15te. Panzerdivision used seven "Mathilda II" from June to August 1941. This tanks were given to the Pz.Pi.Btl.33 in the end of August.

    The Pz.Rgt.5 of the 21.Panzerdivision had a Beutepanzer-Zug of five Mathildas in june 1941

    [​IMG]


    If you want to find out more about captured tanks in africa u can find many useful informations and a nice community, including me ^^, on this forum :wink:

    http://www.afrika-korps.de/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2271

    Regards,
    Che.
     
  6. Quillin

    Quillin New Member

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    never knew that Rommel used red stars to identefy his tanks, what would Hitler have said of that? :grin:
     
  7. merlin phpbb3

    merlin phpbb3 New Member

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    post subject

    Your starter for 10. :lol:
     
  8. FNG phpbb3

    FNG phpbb3 New Member

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    and people complain about the air boys just shooting up everything they find

    It's no wonder when everyone shared each others equipment

    FNG
     
  9. Quillin

    Quillin New Member

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    I do remeber that i once readed about British capturing tanks that were earlier captured by the Germans. What comes around goes around.
     
  10. Panzerkampfwagen

    Panzerkampfwagen New Member

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    The Brits were quite fond of Carro Armato tanks. At one time they had over 126 in service.
     
  11. Roel

    Roel New Member

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    Was that out of necessity or preference?
     
  12. hartmann phpbb3

    hartmann phpbb3 New Member

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    Hello to all ¡¡
    This is my first postin this forum :D .
    My sincerest congratulations for the level and expertise of the members
    All my best regards :wink:
     
  13. TISO

    TISO New Member

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    Acctualy Austaralians operated number of them after their capture in Wavells offensive.
     
  14. Quillin

    Quillin New Member

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    And i thought the British thought that the Italian equipment was worthless.

    I also found out that the Italian 75mm gun on the Semoventi assault guns were actually the best anti-tank guns (apart from the 88's off course) on the axis side.
    What seems to be the problem with the Italian tanks? To few armour?
     
  15. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf New Member

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    http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-battles/ww2/tobruk.htm

    This account of the Australian contribution to the defence of Tobruk shows the great extent to which Italian eqipment was used by the allies, there at least. We can only speculate how much this gear aided their efforts but I suspect it was considerable as it lists considerable amounts of artillery (especially anti-tank), light & sub-machine guns and lots of ammunition

    http://www.diggerhistory.info/images/tanks/tank-kangaroo.jpg

    PS. Note the bit about Italian rifles never being used because the British ones were SUPERIOR.
     
  16. TISO

    TISO New Member

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    A bad tank is still better than no tank at all.

    Basicly they were to thinly armoured (but so were the most tanks of the time except Matilda), drive train was not top notch (copy of Vickers 6t system) and they were not to reliable (if you have italian car this fact should be known to you :grin: )
     
  17. TISO

    TISO New Member

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    Basicly Italian artilery was good but they were never able to produce this guns in huge quantities that were needed. Same goes for airplanes. I belive that Italian 95mm AT/AA gun was even better than famous German 88mm.
     

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