Quote from the book "Band of Brothers" by Stephen Ambrose:
" 'Friendly armor on the right!' As Lt. Shames and Sgt. Alley got that message, they heard tanks outside the building. Anxious to get the show on the road, Alley told Shames he was going to link up with those tanks. SHames decided too join him. They moved by several burned-out buildings and rounded a corner into the main road. Up ahead, between two buildings, partway out, was the tank they sought. Alley moved up to the side of the tank. The tank commander was standing in the turret looking the other way, so Alley shouted to him over the roar of the engine to 'Come this way'. The tank commander turned, and Alley realized he had mistaken a German tank for an American. The German swore, dropped into his tank, and began traversing his turret toward Alley and Shames" (if you want too know the rest, read the book:P) Anyway, here is my question too all u WW2 interested/experts out there: HOW CAN THIS BE POSSIBLE? Did the Germans have tanks in early '45 that looked even a little similar to american tanks? Didn't the american soldiers learn recoginition of foreign tanks and equipment during WW2? I sure hope none of u is going to flame me becouse I'm asking a question like this on the FH forum, but this is the only forum I know about with so many WW2 interested/experts. :)
Paratroopers and Special Forces get taught recognition of enemy and friendly tanks.tehy have to be otherwise to much FF.............i think basic troops are taught it too............well at least here in AUS we do. Also.... probably the only tank an american soldier would see on the battlefield during WW2 would be a sherman so it wouldn't be as hard as you think. You would also look at the Decals and markings the only tank that would look remotley like a german tank in '45 would be a Panther or Panzer 4 ausf. J (but you could tell because they both carry shurzen armoured plate next to the tracks plus the markings)
I know. Thats why I find that story hard to belive...
I believe the scene from the movie, the tank is covered and camoflauged (sp?) very well. They probably couldnt see much of it till it was too late.
This scene doesn't happen in the movie. The only scene from the movie is Lipton talking to that stubborn Brit tank commander who then gets blown up.
maybe the guy was dumb and didnt the the difference between allied and german tanks or the germans were using a captured allied tank
Captured British Sherman VC "Firefly" (armed with 17 pounder gun) in Normandy, 1944. It was marked with extensive number of German Crosses for identification purposes.
Captured American M4A3 Sherman in the Ardennes, January of 1945. It was used by 5th Paratroop Jager Division, along with five more.
The fact that every soldier is tought/is suposed to learn silhouettes, contours and markings of enemy tanks doesn't mean every soldier in fact can recognise them for real.
Friends of mine played WWII games among other games for 10 years now.......and do you think they recognise any specific tank other then a Tiger ? For them it is just they are not interested enough in WWII to remember "details"
If real soldiers have to learn somthing they feel is not all that important, does not intrest them directly or they just have lower then average IQ ( wich is normal in professional armies for soldier ranks up to corporal ) then they wil not be able to tell what is what.
And do not forget.......they learned vehicle recognition from black&white simple 2D drawings. The real thing will for sure look very diffrent if all you saw was a 2D drawing of it. Markings were often covered with thick layers of dirt or camoflage aswell......no one is going to wash a tank in a war. And markings are often not visible from all sides of a tank....i can imagine there is no recognition marking on the back of a tank.
This is also an example:
In preparations for the Ardennes Offensive, around 10 Ausf Gs were converted to resemble American Gun Motor Carriage M10 tank destroyer. The conversion was done by welding additional metal sheets to the turret and hull along with application of US Army camouflage and markings. Designated Ersatz (Substitute) M10, they all equipped Panzer Brigade 150, commanded by SS-Standartenfuehrer Otto Skorzeny.
The explainations given are all very good for why this could have occured.
One thing not taken into consideration so far in this thread is the mindsent of the soldier at that moment. Many thing on the mind in a battle. If you're told friendly tanks are somewhere and you go out for them, running for your life ( as you do 100% of the time in war ) from building to building and you come across some tanks, why not assume they are the friendlys you're EXPECTING. I think the key here is he assumed. We all know what happens in life when you assume anything, you're usually wrong.