Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Daniel Jones, Nov 10, 2003.
Since the subject has come up.
I find the idea that he destroyed 200+ German tanks a little unlikely I think we would have heard more about this guy if he had. Though to be fare whose heard of Mannock who shot down 74 German palnes against the Barons 80 which is impressive since a lot of the Barons early kills were in the east agaisnt obselet models. It is in part a personality issue Mannock was not a friendly guy one eye and a alleged tendancy to straffe air crew who survived a crash.
There is a tendancy for over claiming on both sides the battle of Britain loss claims by both sides would have meant neither side had any planes left.
Witteman the German Ace is credited with destroying hundreds of tanks but in his ambush of a British column the Germans counted bren gun carriers and half tracks as tanks so I suspect both sides built up their Aces especially Germany.
The influence of the successful use of Pilots in WW1 like the red Baron led to a culture in WW2 of trying to create figureheads whose tallies were boosted by adding total unit lossses and ignoring that the Ace was only part of a unit. The deployment of obselete models even late in the war by Soviets alongside good kit meant that scores could be built up at limited risk.
In terms of training the average gunnery on the allied side at least till casualties mounted was very high since they had had years to train whilst awaiting the invasion and there was no lack of ammunition.
Staff Sergeant Lafayette G. Pool
69 tanks, 13 other AFVs, 82 guns, 117 motor vehicles. Captured 250 German soldiers, and killed an estimated over 1000 German soldiers
Wait a min, Fireflys were design by the British makes it a British tank not American.
Firefly was a great allied tank.
1000 kills .... Mein Gott !!!
Good tank commander could rack up quite a number of personel kills. One of the commanders in the 761st Seperate Tank Battalion got 400 before he stopped to count, finding it meaningless.
To address some of the sketicism to Poole's record, especially on the type of vehicles killed, I would suggest that no official record exists for vehicle type because frankly, it was considered poor form by most armies of the Second World War including the German Army. The Waffen-SS would prove exception to this rule for reasons that I will discuss later.
The officerdom of most armored forces believed that battle honors should be awarded on the basis of skill and courage rather than by some arbitrary meter such as AFV kills. The stardom associated with an "ace"was detriment to the collective pride in one's unit and emphasis on teamwork neccessary for warfighters. In fact, some of the top American air force commander were of the same opinion, including Blakeslee who was himself an ace and squadron commander.
The Waffen-SS practice was contrary to the grain of proper military discipline because it saw the propaganda value in publicising and embellishing tank kills. A prime example was 503 SS-Pz Abt. that had been brought up and debunked here.
The number of panzers Poole knocked out would remain to be obscure, but Steven Zaloga listed 258 as the number of vehicle kills "of which one third might have been armored vehicles of various types." Creighton Abrams did not bother to keep scores either and preferred to give credit to his superb gunner; his personal panzer kills was somewhere arround 50 but it was unrecorded because it was considered insignificant.
Worse than that, it was common practice in the German Air Service for Mr. Ace to do the kills while the "other ranks" just covered his back (or the bottom thereof). That way Mr. Ace built up his score while the others were very much expendable.
No one kept scores except the Waffen-SS because it had propaganda value. It is utterly arbitrary to give honor to someone who had killed large numbers of tanks. Glorifying individuals with a large number of armor kills is also considered hurtful to teamwork, which is what wins battles. As I have said, even some air force commanders felt the stardom of the aces encouraged an unmilitary individualism when pilots should be focusing on the mission.
I would have assumed the Battle of Kursk would have made more aces for Germany than anything else, no?
I dunno, who won at Kursk after all?
The Soviets did this as well. It's because the new German pilots of 1944-1945 were so poorly trained.
I was talking in a WW1 context.
so is this guys last name pool or poole?
Anything I find official like in steven j zaloga's book panther vs sherman or the model figurine of him Yoshikato Hirano
Seems to indicate Poole. But then all the webpages u guys post of articles call him pool.
Makes it very confusing to try and research
"The Star of North Africa's " ( Ace pilot Marseille) outfit virtually collapsed through demoralization with his death. Their tactical practices essentially revolved around them setting him up for kills.
Yes, I think that is likely.
Allies didnt keep track really of their tank aces, but I can think of three.
Lt. G.K Henry (Cdn) of the the 1st Hussars killed 5 Panthers in a single battle during the defense Norrey-en-Bessin on 9 June. Heard he shot up a Mark IV the next day, but beyond that no idea of any more kills.
Sgt. Harris (Brit) of the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards also killed 5 panthers during his defense of Lingevres on June 14th.
Both were Firefly commanders. Photos available of the tanks they killed as well.
There was also a Canadian From the Sherbrooke Fusiliers who was credited with 18 tank kills. Can't recall his name at the moment. Think he was also a Firefly commander.
I find it amazing by someones post on page 1, that he found it amazing that the Americans could also have their very own "Tank Aces." Many many men-especially some who bacame Medal of Honor Recipients-were "aces" in their own rights. Take a look at Audie Murphys record. I don't remember if this happened at Colmar or not? but there he destroyed an attacking German Infantry Company. Another American I can think of who would also become a Medal of Honor Recipient who was an "Infantry Ace" was marine Sergeant John "Manila John" Basilone. Take a look into what he did on Guadalcanal.
There were numerous men like these in the American, British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and Indian armies. Tank "aces" existed in far greater numbers than anyone could keep track, I suspect; every battalion should have a couple of top performers!
Contrary to my early statements, it seems that the Red Army actually recorded panzer/fighter kills on unit logs and awarded the crew/pilot who made a confirmed score with a cash bonus, as a morale boosting measure. Being good communists as they were however, I know several Red Army units would evenly distribute the kills made between all the soldiers in the unit and hoard the bonuses as a trust fund to support dependents of mained or killed soldiers.
I wondered if the German tank units did the same thing their airmen did. Wittman's Tiger platoon was wiped out & sacrificed at Villers-Bocage while he flanked and went for the kill.
A "Platoon" of tanks usually were only 3-4 tanks in total. So the ""sacrifice"" of Wittmanns Platoon though terrible in it's own right-still does not mean more than appx 15-20 men were sacrificed. I corresponded with a nice British Gent before he passed away some years ago-who was a Victoria Cross Recipient who I also became friends with. Thanks to Paul, I got was given a great priviledge in that I was able to get to know he and his Wife-Shirley. The man I speak about got his V.C because of his actions at the River Dial in 1940. The man I speak about was Captain Richard Wallace Annand VC-of the Durham Light Infantry. During his actions at the river-he single-handedly-and becoming badly wounded in the process-and still fought on by himself-stopped a large German Infantry unit that was about to attack through his area.
Captain Annand had guts of steel. Not only after being severely wounded-he went to look for his Batman-found him and got him closer to friendly lines-before he collapsed from loss of blood. To me, he is the British version of Audie Murphy aand a great man I will always have the highest respect for.