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Post WWII disposal yards. (especially tanks)

Discussion in 'Armor and Armored Fighting Vehicles' started by aglooka, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. aglooka

    aglooka Member

    Sep 8, 2005
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    We've seen some disposal yards of Captured German vehicles.
    But i wonder :

    Does anyone have an educated guess how many of the tanks in the different theatres stayed either in active form or as scrap.
    I remember reading of a disposal yard near Antwerp holding more than 300 Shermans. Of Shermans being "demilled" by boring a hole in their Gun in Italy ( (the Italians "repaired" this by making a fitting sleeve over the barrel and build up a force of 1800-2000 Shermans) The Belgian army for example bought 200 fireflies but i'm not sure from disposal yards. But the Belgian army surely bought small numbers of other variants from scrapyards. on other theatres i remember reading of Shermans being pushed over cliffs in Palestine.

    Was there any programme of reshipping Shermans or other tanks (maybe the few Pershings and Chaffees but i guess these were primarily used by the units staying) to the US ?
    Were only tanks kept by active units (peacekeeping occupation, etc.) kept in the inventory and the rest simply disposed off locally ?

    How did the disposal go ? First assembling in a yard, demilling and selling to scrapdealers ?

    Many greetings,

  2. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

    Jul 7, 2008
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    Here is a fun link to a site that traces down Shermans post-war. Some of the stories are interesting. Like the reason the show Kelly's Heros was filme in Yugoslavia. They had the largest functioning armored park of Shermans still running. They also had T-34s that were easily "customized" with styrofoam and plywood to resemble Tiger tanks.

    This gave rise to the myth that the Tiger was powered by a diesel engine, which the T-34 was and used as a "noise" that the Heros could sneak into town under.


    Sherman Register - Sherman encyclopedia

    It is getting a little dated, but still amazing how many remained in service all over the world and for so long.
  3. Carl W Schwamberger

    Carl W Schwamberger Ace

    Mar 17, 2007
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    During the war there was a program for reviving and equiping French, Belgian, Dutch ect.. armies. This was revamped as Germany surrendered & large quantities of equipment was turned over to the les well off Allied armys. Blackburn in his 'Guns of Victory' remarks on his regiment handing off its 25lbr guns to Belgian soldiers.

    Part of what could not be used was 'preserved' in reserve stocks scattered about Europe and the Pacific. Preservation of this was hit or miss and often these storage parks were scrapyards in every aspect but name. What was actual scrap or of marginal use in 1945 was either handed over to salvage businesses of flat out abandoned. Through the remaining 1940s the scrap and salvage opportunities were there for dedicated business men and moonlighting part timers.

    Only a small portion was returned to the US. There were still large stocks of replacement weapons of many types, plus the allowances for units that did not deploy, and generous quantities in the training establishments. I've heard that the German equipment designated for tests had a higher priority than the US equipment for ship space to the US.

    'Demilling' was haphazard and often skipped over. Without ammunition the cannon were useless anyway. To the salvage people they were more valuable as High quality scrap steel for the furnaces than as weapons.

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