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Sherman Ace?

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Daniel Jones, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Daniel Jones

    Daniel Jones Member

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    We all know who Germanies leading tank ace was, but who was the leading U.S. Sherman ace?
     
  2. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Well, I can't give the name at the moment (I will a bit later have to call someone on that) but there was a corporal / sargent in 3rd Armored that had quite a few kills. He was good enough that he was selected to command a "super" Pershing with upgraded armor and a 105mm gun. He shot it out in late 44 and 45 with a number of Panthers and Tigers (both I's and II's) successfully. One thing I recall he did was make use of the gyrostabilizer on both the M4 and M26. By using it he could continue to move forward at low speeds and shoot accurately. This greatly slowed the German tank's rate of engagement and in many cases led to their demise because the German crews expected him to halt to fire which, of course, he didn't do.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Member

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  4. KnightMove

    KnightMove Ace

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    Do we really?

    Btw I don't understand why Pool is less famous than Wittmann or Carius, despite he destroyed much more tanks with inferior material. :confused:

    [ 11. November 2003, 02:48 AM: Message edited by: KnightMove ]
     
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr Patron  

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    Sadly this often happens - why, for instance, is 'Ginger' Lacey less famous than Bader or Johnson ?
     
  6. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I have to admit, I had never heard of Sergeant Pool until reading this thread today.

    He lived in Odem and Taft, Texas... THATis only 6-12 miles from where I live now!
     
  7. Onthefield

    Onthefield Member

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    Well, just wondering, these American Sherman aces that we're talking about...what were they aces against? There wasn't that much in Germany that they could seriously contend against and also, what about the Japanese theater, what tanks were they aces of there?
     
  8. KnightMove

    KnightMove Ace

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    Why? They still had to deal with several thousands of German tanks. And Pool destroyed 258 of them... confessed, this sounds VERY much.
     
  9. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Mostly the late war German mainstays, the Pz IVH, Pz V and StuG III. Why is it so difficult to imagine that Sherman crews could fight these vehicles? Average engagement ranges in Europe were around 500 yards. The Panther was very vulnerable to side and rear shots. The other vehicles were vulnerable at those ranges. Most of the time it came down to who could shoot first. This advantage often went to US crews.
    US units also usually had the advantage in numbers and intelligence on enemy dispositions. Also, as I hinted at above, were engagement times. A good Sherman crew was almost certain to shoot first given higher turret rotation speeds, better fine turret adjustment rates and, gyrostabilizers when they were used (as most good crews did do). And, on the last, yes they did work as advertised when crews took the time to maintain and learn to use them.
     
  10. Daniel Jones

    Daniel Jones Member

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    I have some issues with the story of Mr. Pool. First of all I think it is worth noting that according to this website Mr. Pool was responsible for destroying 258 enemy vehicles. It does not mention how many of them were tanks, which I thought as far as aces were concerned, were counted similarly to planes. Fighter aces do not get credit for shooting up trucks, tanks, or artillery peices. According to this site we do not know how many tank kills Mr Pool had. Furthermore there is no mention of confirmation of these kills. As to the site itself, I do not trust it in the slightest bit. First of all there is no air of authority here. Some of the info seems quite sketchy to me. As to Pool trying to amputate his own leg with a pocketknife, this story is ludicrous. There are countless of absurd stories of soldiers during the American Civil War who supposedly tried to amputate thier own limbs with pocket knives. There is no factual basis for any of these cases. I was unsuspecting of the site until I read about Pool having several tanks shot out from under him so to speak. I thought the tank hit by a bomber was especially questionable. More ridiculous is the story of Pool running into a tank in the fog of dusk and getting of the first shot "barreling" it. This site has the feel of a tall tale rather than history. Where is the documentation for all the information on this site?


    Daniel Jones
     
  11. KnightMove

    KnightMove Ace

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    Hmmm, some of your objections sound quite convincing. However the main facts presented here are also found in his biography in the German Panzerlexikon (www.panzerlexikon.de). Their sources mentioned are:

    Journals of Military Ordnance, März 1998
    Association of 3rd Armored Division Veterans
     
  12. Daniel Jones

    Daniel Jones Member

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    Unfortunately I was not able to get to that sight you posted KnightMove. Is the sight better documented than the previous in discussion, and does the new sight say how many tanks Pool destroyed? Are there any books or official government documents discussing Mr. Pool? Also I hate to change the subject somewhat but, does anyone know of the top British tank ace?
     
  13. Daniel Jones

    Daniel Jones Member

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    [ 19. November 2003, 11:29 AM: Message edited by: Daniel Jones ]
     
  14. KnightMove

    KnightMove Ace

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    If you visit www.panzerlexikon.de, follow the links "Amerika" - "Panzermänner" - "Staff Sergeant Lafayette G. Pool". And no, there are no new facts compared to the site above, just the sources I mentioned above.
     
  15. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Certainly any Allied tank crew destroying a German Tiger with a Sherman can be considered an ace. 'Fireflies' were very nice tanks to knock out StuGs, Pz IVs and Panthers. But still, German tanks were far superior than those of the Allies and were better trained. So, any Allied crew - as I said - destroying a few German tanks is quite impressive. I do not think Sgt. Pool could have destroyed that many tanks - most of the 200+ vehicles listed must have been lorries and half tracks, not tanks. There were never that many German tanks in a single battle zone nor it was that common to see that many and engage them that easily. I don't want to take credit from Pool, but I wouldn't think he destroyed more than 30 German TANKS.

    And OT, Martin; could you tell me who was Lacey? I do know Johnson and Bader, like you say... :confused:
     
  16. Texas Fred

    Texas Fred Member

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    Mostly the late war German mainstays, the Pz IVH, Pz V and StuG III. Why is it so difficult to imagine that Sherman crews could fight these vehicles? Average engagement ranges in Europe were around 500 yards. The Panther was very vulnerable to side and rear shots. The other vehicles were vulnerable at those ranges. Most of the time it came down to who could shoot first. This advantage often went to US crews.

    US units also usually had the advantage in numbers and intelligence on enemy dispositions. Also, as I hinted at above, were engagement times. A good Sherman crew was almost certain to shoot first given higher turret rotation speeds, better fine turret adjustment rates and, gyrostabilizers when they were used (as most good crews did do). And, on the last, yes they did work as advertised when crews took the time to maintain and learn to use them.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Along with Mr Gardner's comments, lots of questions are answered by reading the link the other poster left about WO Lafayette Poole...

    Also, although great pieces of equipment, the vaunted German tanks were not as invincible as one hears, or some maintain.

    I have saved that site as I plan to introduce it somewhere at a site far far away where a great TIGER lover lives... :D :D

    Thanks for the 3AD Lafayette Poole link, sirs...
     
  17. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Here's a stranger Allied "Tank ace." There was a pilot (I'll get his name a bit later) flying a L-4 Grasshopper (eg Piper Cub) that had rigged it with 6 bazookas who had credit for at least 12 German tanks including 5 Panthers and 4 Pz IV.
     
  18. Panzerknacker

    Panzerknacker New Member

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    I also must admit that I had never heard of Lafayette G Pool until this thread also which is rather sad I believe-when I can tell you straight away about Michael Wittman or Ernst Barkmann.
    :confused:
     
  19. 5-0-duce

    5-0-duce Member

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    how can that be true? an american tank ... ace? i didnt know any americans survived battles let alone became an ace!? if it's true, it'll bring much more pride to the americans of WWII and SHAME to the germans aces...
     
  20. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I'll see if I can put together a list of some other US tank 'aces.' One unit commander I know had a pretty good score was Creighton Abrams of 4th Armored Division.
     

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